Will the economic recovery pay an election political dividend for the government?
The government of prime minister Milanović will not pass the budget for 2016. Rather, it will just adopt a continuing financing resolution which will basically be a copy of the budget for the previous two years. It believes that it is fair to leave it to the next government to write its own policies, regardless on which political option wins, reports Novi List on August 23, 2015.
“Our government has passed four budgets and we have finished our job. It is only fair that the new government gets its chance. Of course, we are sure that we are going to be in the new government”, said a top government source. For months, finance minister Boris Lalovac has worked on the new provisional budget plans which are expected to be as austere as they were this year.
Also, it is likely that new elections will be held in early 2016, and not in November as was recently speculated, because the government needs to adopt a number of laws and reforms, such as those which were presented yesterday by minister of social affairs Milanka Opačić, who announced growth in social support payments, as well as a number of Lalovac’s laws in the finance sector, which will include lowering of some salary taxes.
Even though the tourist season has been unexpectedly successful, it seems that it will not be a crucial factor for calling early elections, since the ruling coalition has decided to wait for the overall good economic results for the first three quarters of 2015. They expect the continuation of good trends and the growth rate of GDP above 0.5 percent. All these results will provide the basis for an electoral campaign of SDP and its partners.
“This year, we have had a great tourist season, with 9 percent more arrivals and 7 percent more overnight stays. It will contribute significantly to GDP growth”, said deputy prime minister Branko Grčić. “However, let’s wait. I will not forecast the rate of growth in the third quarter, but one thing is certain – the rate is growing in each consecutive quarter. The second quarter was better than the first, and the third will be better than the second. I think we will exceed all the growth forecasts we had, and at the beginning of the year it was 0.5 percent”, said Grčić.
“I really believe that this wave of good news can be the basis for our electoral campaign in the coming months. It is evident that the citizens can feel this shift. We have achieved progress, no matter what anyone says”, said Grčić.
The revenue collected from VAT this year has increased by 1.4 billion kuna in comparison with last year. From the European funds, 2.7 billion kuna has been withdrawn this year, which is almost double than in 2014.