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Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has produced a budget for 2007 that sees the deficit reduced by 10% on revenues of CYP 3.31 bln and expenditure of 4.06 bln. Revenue was up 3.7% and state spending a marginal 0.8%, due to the improvement in tax collection and a high growth rate of 4%.
NHS by 2008:
Mckinsey & Co., the consultant hired by the government to prepare the strategy and implementation of the national health system (GESY), said that the scheme would collapse if it relied on self-funding alone. The proposal was to supplement revenue from higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol as smokers and those who drink are a greater burden on the national health system. Another suggestion was for patients to pay a small fee to be assigned a doctor or GP, while implementation of the first stage was seen at 2008.
The ruling coalition is in trouble after ruling DIKO and side-kicks AKEL are considering abandoning socialist EDEK on rows over candidates for the upcoming municipal elections. Foreign residents will also have their say with 244 expats registered in Peyia, accounting for 15% of the vote, who are expected to have an impact on the outcome.