ECONOMY

Gov’t sets spending cap for ministries

The Finance Ministry is reducing government budget expenditure by 5 billion euros next year and is setting strict ceilings on each ministry’s spending, which ministers will not be able to ignore, as has been the case in previous years.

According to a circular issued by Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, the 5-billion-euro cut will be mostly due to reductions in expenditure at the ministries of National Defense, Health and Education.

The circular makes it clear that “any forecast for revenues and expenditure will have to be sincere and precise, without overestimating or underestimating the figures forecasts are based on. If those principles are not adhered to during drafting and executing budgets, it would constitute a violation of fiscal discipline. The ministries should see to it that those principles are respected by the entities that they monitor,” Staikouras noted.

Accordingly, the alternate finance minister is asking the ministries and decentralized regional administrations to send detailed charts featuring distribution of spending to the general State Accounting Office by July 15. The charts will include a budget for every single entity they monitor, such as state corporations, hospitals, various funds etc. The spending caps determined for nine of the ministries are as follows:

– 5.4 billion euros for the Education Ministry, against 5.8 billion this year (down by 400 million).

– 4.44 billion euros for the Health Ministry, from 4.44 billion (down by 400 million).

– 3.535 billion euros for the Interior Ministry, against 3.624 billion euros (down by 89 million).

– 2.4 billion euros for the National Defense Ministry, from 3.4 billion (down by 1 billion euros).

– 665.4 million euros for the Finance Ministry, against 693.5 million this year (down by 28.1 million)

– 563 million euros for the Justice Ministry, from 489 million (up by 74 million)

– 301 million euros for the Foreign Ministry, against 303.8 million (down 2.8 million)

– 106 million euros for the Administrative Reform Ministry, from 141.6 million this year (down by 35.6 million).