According to provisional data, the state budget deficit amounted to EUR –2.453 billion in the first nine months of 2021, while without the direct effect of COVID-related measures the deficit would have amounted to EUR –388 million. A deficit of EUR –2.747 billion is envisaged in the state budget for the whole year.
Revenue in the first nine months was 19.6% higher than in the same period last year or 9.8%higher without taking into account the direct effect of COVID-related measures. The relatively high revenue growth is largely due to the base effect, when revenue fell sharply last year at the onset of the epidemic, and the easing of restrictive measures this year.
Expenditure in the first nine months was 15.3% higher than in the same period last year or 8.7%higher without taking into account the direct effect of COVID-related measures totalling EUR 2.324 billion. The latter is predominantly due to higher labour costs and investment.
In the first nine months of 2021, the total direct cost of COVID-related measures amounted to EUR 2.311 billion, which is about three times the number envisioned for the whole 2021 by the budget amendment in October last year. The largest part of COVID expenditure in the first nine months of this year (almost EUR 700 million) and since the beginning of the epidemic in March last year (almost EUR 900 million) was accounted for by allowances to employees.
The total direct effect of COVID-related measures since March 2020 amounts to EUR 4.704 billion, and the total cost of such measures, taking into account the potential effect of guarantees, liquidity loans and deferred credit payments on the state budget results, stands at EUR 5.314 billion.
According to preliminary data, 28,000 employees were involved in job retention measures in June 2021. At the end of June, the measure of subsidising temporary lay-offs came to an end, while in July and August there was a significant drop in the number of claims for compensation due to reduced working time and quarantine.
On 23 September 2021, the Fiscal Council received for assessment the proposal for the Ordinance amending the Ordinance on the framework for the preparation of the general government budgets for the 2020–2022 period, with envisaged changes in the maximum permitted level of general government expenditure and expenditure of the general government budget in 2021. In accordance with the statutory deadline of 15 days, the assessment will be published on 8 October 2021.