Bulgarian Parliament approves 2021 Budget Act at second reading

Bulgarian Parliament approves 2021 Budget Act at second reading

Bulgaria’s National Assembly has given its final approval to the 2021 Budget Act. After sitting late into the evening the previous two days, MPs passed the last provisions of the bill in the morning session on November 26.

Parliament held a special sitting on November 24 to pass the separate health and pension budgets, followed by the item-by-item votes on the macroeconomic framework and the central budget.

The Budget passed with fewer sniping exchanges between government coalition and opposition MPs than usual, resulting in a shorter debate on the bill.

The opposition socialists demanded that the bill be withdrawn and rewritten to include more spending in light of the tighter restrictions being introduced later this week to fight the spread of Covid-19, but its amendment did not pass.

One other significant amendment tabled between readings, to scrap a controversial provision amending the Consumer Loans Act, did pass.

The bill also included a third revision of the 2020 Budget Act, which now targets a budget deficit of four per cent of gross domestic product, based on a forecast that Bulgaria’s economy will shrink by three per cent this year.

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