Government Decides Against Cuts to Money Appropriated for Political Parties

Total Croatia News

One of MOST’s major election promises postponed for next year,

The government is expected today to decide that the money which political parties receive from the budget will not be cut this year, after all, reports Večernji List on April 13, 2016.

Moreover, today’s decision implies that the political parties could in the coming years receive several million kuna more than this year when they will receive 55 million kuna from the state budget.

Members of Parliament from MOST, HSLS, BUZ and independent MP Gordana Rusak proposed changes to the Law on Financing Political Activities and Election Campaigns, which would provide to political parties 47.3 million kuna this year. They proposed that the parties, instead of 0.05 percent of total budget expenditures, in the future receive 0.075 percent of total tax revenues. Such modification to the financing model would mean almost eight million kuna less for political parties in 2016.

The government accepted the proposed change, but with one “correction” – instead of 0.075 percent, the government has proposed an amount of 0.087 percent. That actually means that this year the political parties will still get 55 million kuna while in the following years they will even get a few million kuna more. The reason is that it is expected that in the future tax revenues will grow significantly. The government’s “correction” is quite cynical since it changes the whole point of the proposed changes to the law. Although the government advocates for austerity policies, when it comes to the financing of political parties, it rather keeps with the business as usual principle.

MOST says that they have agreed to the “correction” of the proposed percentage in order to avoid budget revision and that political parties will next year receive less money because MOST’s original proposal will allegedly be applied – 0.075 percent of the tax revenues. MOST leader Božo Petrov says he agreed to the concession because HDZ president and First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko promised him that next year MOST’s proposal would be accepted.

“The Finance Ministry announced that they have no problem with our proposal, but suggested that the proposal should be implemented starting next year in order to avoid budget revision. I have talked with Tomislav Karamarko and we agreed that this would be a temporary solution. So, next year the amount will be 0.075 percent of the tax revenues”, said Deputy Prime Minister Božo Petrov.

HSLS President Darinko Kosor was not thrilled with the government decision. “We are against this proposal. We believe that the amount political parties receive from the state budget should be decreased, rather than increased. Once again we will put forward a proposal to amend the Law on Financing of Political Parties”, said Kosor.


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