The opposition Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) said they are opposed to the finance minister's idea for legislative changes allowing active management of the State Silver Fund.
UDF's leader Martin Dimitrov said on Tuesday that the amendment would allow the government to tap the money guaranteeing the stability of the pension system, adding that the fund is the only reserve for covering pension payments if the budget runs a serious deficit, BTA reported.
The State Fund for Guaranteeing Stability of the State Pension System Act, known as the Silver Fund, was established in 2008 as a financial reserve granting pensions payments at a time in the future when the number pensioners is expected to surpasses the number of employed persons. It is managed by a management board, chaired by the finance minister and the social minister as a deputy.
According to Dimitrov, the government may use part of the fund to cover Bulgaria's external debt and budget deficit, which amount to around 3.0 billion levs ($2.06 billion/1.5 billion euro).
Another opposition party, the MRF, too said it is against the proposal, as its deputy leader Aliosman Imamov described it as "gambling", BTA reported.
The idea to change the rules for the fund’s management has drawn criticism from the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria, as well.