Bulgarian Parliament passes 2021 Budget revision at first reading

Bulgaria’s MPs passed the 2021 Budget revision tabled by the caretaker Cabinet at first reading on August 27, with 130 votes in favour, 45 against and 20 abstaining.

A day earlier, Parliament spent nine hours in debate on the three bills that make up the Budget revision on August 26, also passing the health insurance and social security budgets.

As part of the Budget revision, revenues were raised by 1.33 billion leva, or about 680.7 million euro, to 28.4 billion leva by projecting higher tax income.

Total Budget spending would increase by 1.46 billion leva to 34 billion leva, the bulk of that being a 1.16 billion leva new budget item for compensatory measures in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic in the “reserve for unforeseen and/or urgent spending” section of the 2021 Budget Act.

The target Budget deficit would rise by 141.3 million leva to 5.63 billion leva, or 4.4 per cent of projected gross domestic product.

One of the most debated items that are part of the revision was the increase in the minimum pension from 300 to 340 leva and the maximum pension from 1440 to 1500 leva, while the average pension would be about 550 leva. Several parties said that they would table amendments before the second reading to hike the pension increases further.

(National Assembly photo: parliament.bg)

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