Spending slashed by half a billion next year

Spending slashed by half a billion next year

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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