The Fiscal Council has assessed the draft revised budget of the Republic of Slovenia for 2020 and the draft Ordinance amending the Ordinance on the framework for the preparation of the general government budget for the 2020–2022 period. Due to exceptional circumstances, a temporary deviation from the fiscal rules is permitted this year, but the Fiscal Council has some significant reservations with respect to the submitted budget documents. Given such a marked deterioration in the state of public finances, additional transparency is expected from the government in the preparation of budget documents.
Taking into account the realisation so far, the expenditure in the revised budget proposal, both that related to COVID-19 and that excluding these measures, is forecast to be very high. As regards expenditure, the relatively high planned reserves have not been sufficiently explained. The state budget expenditure not related to COVID-19 measures is expected to grow much faster than last year and in the adopted budget for 2020, while, considering present realisation, its growth is expected to significantly accelerate in the last five months of the year. In the current situation it is even more necessary for economic policymakers to be aware that, despite the urgent expenditure related to the epidemic, government spending in the part that does not include this expenditure should be rational, efficient and development-oriented. This year’s increase of the upper limit of borrowing, which does not reflect the current budgetary needs in their entirety, is also not properly explained. The reservations also relate to budgetary planning, which, despite the uncertain situation, should focus on the period after the expected end of the crisis using a properly set medium-term framework.