Finance Minister Asen Vassilev presented the parameters of the 2023 Budget. It is calculated based on average annual inflation of 8.7% and economic growth of 1.8%.
The deficit will be 3 percent, with capital spending severely cut from the cabinet’s draft budget. The funds for the increase in pensions by 12% from July 1 have been secured, said Minister Vassilev.
The second year of maternity will be 780 leva per month from January 1. Since mothers currently receive 710 leva, a mechanism has been provided through the Ministry of Social Affairs for them to receive the difference retroactively.
The only change is the return of the VAT rate to 20% on gas prices, as the energy crisis has now been overcome. An excise tax is introduced on tobacco liquids that do not contain nicotine. The capital program is reduced compared to the one proposed by the official cabinet, explained Asen Vassilev.
“As for whether the budget will be accepted, let’s enter the parliament, let the expert debate take place first, not the political one, in a budget committee. I personally think that it is extremely irresponsible before you have read a budget and seen the texts, to say whether you would vote for it or not, because you may change your mind”.
When asked whether the introduction of the euro as a parallel currency is planned, Minister Asen Vassilev answered that this will not happen in 2023. He explained the logic behind such a move, if it ever comes to it:
“That is, if two persons want and can carry out transactions in euros, to be able to do so without the state restricting them. At the moment, transactions that are for individuals, such as final sales, salaries, are legally carried out only in levs”.
The target date for the introduction of the euro in Bulgaria is January 1, 2025.