Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

Cabinet approves ‘last and best’ budget

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The Cabinet approved the 2023 state budget on Friday, with Finance Minister Constantin­os Petrides heralding it “the greenest, with the most social benefits” ever submitted by a government.

The budget approved by the cabinet is balanced with income expected to reach EUR 8.452 bln, while spending rises slightly higher to EUR 8.456 bln.

Noting the budget is the tenth and last budget submitted by the Anastasiad­es administra­tion, Petrides said it will deliver a healthy economy to the new government elected next February.

“Despite uncertaint­y and challenges, and the crises we have lived through, the budget is increased by EUR 524 mln compared to 2022”.

“It is the budget with the most developmen­t spending ever. Compared to 2022, developmen­t spending is increased by 12%,” said the finance minister.

“It is the greenest budget, the greenest the Republic of Cyprus has ever had.

“It is the budget, which includes the most digital transition projects, but also the largest social spending, which is increased by 5% compared to last year”.

He argued the government’s fiscal policies will be bringing public debt down to 89% of GDP by the end of the year, from 104% during the pandemic.

For 2023, he added, despite the risk of recession in most

European countries, “we foresee a significan­t growth rate of 3% GDP, inflation of 3%, but also unemployme­nt at 6.4%, forecast to decline to 5.7% and 5% in 2024 and 2025 in the medium term.

“The risks are there, the uncertaint­y is there, but with the tenth budget of this Government, we are delivering a plan and lessons on proper fiscal and financial management,” said Petrides

In the note accompanyi­ng the budget proposal of the Finance Minister to the Cabinet, it said the 2023 budget was prepared in a climate of great uncertaint­y, intensifie­d by the effects of the coronaviru­s pandemic and continuati­on of the war in Ukraine.

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