Spend­ing slashed by half a bil­lion next year

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

The gov­ern­ment is slash­ing state ex­pen­di­ture by 500 mil­lion eu­ros for next year, ac­cord­ing to a cir­cu­lar sent by Al­ter­nate Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gior­gos Hou­liarakis to min­istries and state en­ti­ties.

The purge will mainly con­cern health spend­ing, while credit for salaries and pen­sions will be in­creased. In to­tal, ex­pen­di­ture will amount to 56.1 bil­lion eu­ros (against 56.6 bil­lion bud­geted for this year), of which 49.3 bil­lion will come from the bud­get and the re­main­ing 6.75 bil­lion from the Pub­lic In­vest­ment Pro­gram.

Per­son­nel salaries will ac­count for 12.16 bil­lion eu­ros, arms pro­grams will take 510 mil­lion eu­ros and col­lat­eral will ab­sorb some 1 bil­lion eu­ros. The in­ter­est the state will pay out is es­ti­mated at 5.9 bil­lion eu­ros.

The fi­nan­cial de­part­ments of the min­istries have un­til Au­gust 18 to no­tify the Fi­nance Min­istry of their bud­get plans for next year. The big­gest bud­get as usual be­longs to the La­bor and So­cial Se­cu­rity Min­istry, amount­ing to 18 bil­lion eu­ros, up from 17.7 bil­lion this year.

The credit to the Health Min­istry will be re­duced from 4.3 bil­lion eu­ros this year to 3.7 bil­lion in 2018. De­spite plans for hir­ings at hos­pi­tals, the ex­pen­di­ture of hos­pi­tals will have to be re­duced to 2.5 bil­lion eu­ros, from 3 bil­lion this year.

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