After spending most of the week debating the 2014 Budget Act, Bulgaria’s Parliament will hold two additional sittings on December 9-10 to finish voting the second reading of next year’s Budget.
Having spent two days, December 3 and December 4, debating the provisions of the Budget Act, MPs tried to hold all the votes on December 5, repeatedly moving to extend Parliament’s working hours, but had to adjourn shortly before midnight, ending the sitting that went on for more than 14 hours.
In that time frame, Parliament approved the Budget’s macroeconomic framework and the budgets of several ministries and state bodies – the State Agency for National Security, in particular, got a funding boost of 32 per cent, compared to 2013.
The MPs also approved the controversial proposal to impose a 20 per cent fee on the feed-in tariff paid to solar and wind power electricity producers, with the proviso that it would be amended in the coming days to differentiate between renewable energy producers, some of which might end up paying lower fees, while others would pay even higher ones.
Another provision that stirred a lot of debate in recent days, namely reducing the size of the taxpayer-funded subsidies for political parties, is yet to be voted by Parliament.
The Budget votes will continue on December 6 as well, with MPs voting to postpone the ministerial Question Time, which Parliament traditionally hosts on Fridays.