House to begin debate on 2023 state budget

The Parliament’s Plenary will begin on Tuesday its three-day session to approve Cyprus state budget for 2023.

The budget will be the tenth and the last under the administration of President Nicos Anastasiades.

?he session is set to begin at 1500 local time. Heads and/or representatives of the political parties will address the House and according to the planning, leaders of DISY, AKEL and DIKO will speak for a total of 40 minutes and the leaders of the rest of the political parties for 30.

On Wednesday the Parliament will convene at 0900 local time with a break at 1300 and again in the afternoon from 1500 until 2000. There are 16 parliamentarians scheduled to address the plenary in the morning session and 20 in the afternoon. The debate will continue on Thursday until 1800, followed by the voting.

The budget provides for total revenue of €11.7 billion and expenditure amounting to €11.3 billion resulting in fiscal surplus of €0.46 billion corresponding to 1.7% of GDP, while primary surplus (excluding debt servicing expenditure) is estimated to reach 3%. It features an increase of 12% in development projects, increased social protection spending, while debt servicing expenditure is estimated to drop by €500 million. GDP growth is estimated to decelerate to 3% from a projected 6% growth this year.

So far only left-wing AKEL has announced it will vote against the budget. The three-day debate will culminate on Thursday with the vote on the state budget.

The Finance Ministry has requested from the Finance Committee not to freeze public expenditure that would create problems to the smooth functioning of the public service in the first three months of 2023, as the Parliament will be closed until March due to the presidential elections scheduled for February 2023.

The parliament habitually blocks specific provisions of the annual state budget which then have to gain the approval of the parliamentary committee on financial and budgetary affairs before they can be disbursed.

Source: Cyprus News Agency