Ivan Lovrinović: I Want Changes to the Budget and I Will Have Support of MOST

Total Croatia News

Government has only just presented the budget, but one MP from a ruling party already wants changes.

Ivan Lovrinović, MOST’s economic strategist and a member of Parliament, talked this morning about the 2016 budget, which was in the meantime presented by the government, reports Večernji List on March 10, 2016.

Lovrinović said that the first year in office should be the most important year for reforms. “But, take for example the healthcare system – what should the finance minister do to cut a billion or two kuna when he does not know the situation? We have never implemented a real healthcare system reform. Hospital managers are physicians who do not understand economics and business management. When we talk in this context about the budget, I would say that we should cut those items in the budget which grow the fastest, and these are interest rate costs for loans since the public debt is accumulating.”

Asked what would have happened to the economy if the Croatian National Bank were to print five billion kuna to cover the debt, Lovrinović answered: “This does not mean a new issue of money. It is just replacing expensive debt with cheap debt, and it cannot be done without the Croatian National Bank. That is the reason why Croatia needs to implement monetary reform. We are talking about everything besides the Croatian National Bank. Its intervention is now absolutely needed, but we have seen that governments have not done anything about it.”

Despite previous statements about reduction in spending, expenditures in the 2016 budget have increased by 2 billion kuna. “I do not like statements that we need to borrow more money. MOST has said that it would not go down that road. But I cannot say anything with certainty until we discuss every budgetary item in parliament.”

Asked if the current budget proposal could be changed in Parliament, Lovrinović said: “Why not? If there are good reasons, we will certainly accept what is reasonable. The public is sensitive to additional borrowing and is asking what is different in this budget. Anybody can borrow money and spend it. MOST will insist on rationalizations and big savings.”

He said that he thought he had the support of all 15 MPs from MOST. “MOST understands that, if we do not tackle the reforms, we will be punished by the public. It is not an easy position, there are many interest groups and MOST does not have such strength. But, we must not allow things to pass which should not be adopted, and that is what people will recognize. In politics, there is a consensus – but, if you cannot reach it, then it turns into a question of your own credibility, and if you fail, you will soon be punished.”


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