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Debate on budget begins at the House of Representatives

The House of Representatives plenary will begin a three-day debate for the state budget and the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework 2024-2026, on Monday, 18 December.

The first day of Monday's debate will start with a brief overview of the report from the House Financial and Budgetary Affairs Committee by its President, Christiana Erotokritou.

Following that, the leaders or representatives of the political parties will present their positions.

Once the debate wraps up on Wednesday, the House Plenary will vote on the budget. Parties have prepared a series of amendments to the state budget, which will also undergo approval or rejection by the plenary on Wednesday.

The budget is in surplus, with a fiscal surplus amounting to 2.2% of the GDP and a primary surplus at 3.6% of the GDP.

The total expenditures included in the state budget for 2024 amount to €13.04 billion. The total revenues of the General Government amount to €13.2 billion. A fiscal surplus of €660 million is projected for 2024. The primary balance, excluding debt servicing expenses, is projected at €1 billion or 2.8% of the GDP.

The expenses for which payment approval is sought from the Parliament amount to €8.7 billion.

The government's amendments to the 2024 budget and the Medium Term Financial Framework 2024-26, submitted by the Ministry of Finance, amount to €66,041,289 for 2024, €30,873,719 for 2025, while for 2026 a reduction of €1,642,381 is foreseen.

Moreover, in its report on the state budget, the House Finance Committee notes the desire of all parties to maintain sound public finances in order to respond to future challenges and to further smooth the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis on the Cypriot economy, as well as to address possible consequences of the recent crisis in the Middle East.

It notes that the medium-term prospects for the Cypriot economy, according to the Government's forecasts, are positive, but are surrounded by great uncertainty, due to the prevailing circumstances.

It stresses that the sustainable growth of the economy, the further reduction of public debt, the maintenance of fiscal surpluses, the protection of citizens' living standards from inflationary pressures and the safeguarding of citizens' welfare should be the main policy priorities of the government.

It is further estimated that the promotion of the green economy, digital transformation, research and innovation, as well as the implementation of major development projects will help the economy's growth path.

It is also stated that the implementation of structural reforms, as well as the optimal use of EU instruments, in particular the Recovery and Resilience Plan, will contribute to improving the economy and employment.

(Source: CNA)

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