Bulgaria's Government to Discuss 2011 Draft Budget

Bulgaria's Government to Discuss 2011 Draft Budget

Pensions and salaries in Bulgaria will not be changed in 2011, the Finance Ministry's draft 2011 State Budget Act says.

The draft budget, which will be discussed Wednesday, envisions that the deficit in the end of 2011 would be 2,5%, while the economic growth is expected to be 3,6%.

The expenses in some of the key sectors, like education and health care, will remain at their 2010 levels.

"The budget for 2011 will not be very different than the budget for this year," said Sergey Ignatov, Bulgaria's Education Minister.

Employers would have to continue paying 70% of the daily salary for the first three days of the sick leaves of workers.

"According to data from the National Insurance Fund, this measures saves about BGN 5 M to BGN 7 M per month. The Social Ministry has decided that this was a good measure and this is why it was included in the draft budget," said Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov.

According to the draft budget, Bulgaria's GDP will grow to BGN 77 B. The financial analyst, Lyubomir Datsov, has stated that this forecast is unrealistic for two reasons.

"The first reason is the lack of any foreign investments or the possibility for their growth to more than an average of BGN 1,8 B per year, which is still completely insufficient. The second reason is that there will be no stimulus for domestic investments. So this growth of the GDP will rely only on recovery of some consumption, but how exactly would this recovery happen, they do not explain," he said.

On Tuesday, Bulgarian business organizations and syndicates supported the government's proposal for tax changes, including the introduction of a flat 9% value-added tax (VAT) in the tourism sector.

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