The amendments to the 2020 budget are completely misplaced, said VMRO-DPMNE Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski during the Parliament debate on the proposal that will put Macedonia nearly a billion EUR deeper into debt.

Instead of increasing spending on public healthcare, what every other country did, providing bonuses to frontline medical workers, and providing computers and free internet to households who can’t afford to let their children attended online school, the money were spent elsewhere. The budget deficit is about to hit 8.4 percent of GDP and our public debt is projected at 59.3 percent, but it is very likely it reaches 70 percent, because the on revenue side it is completely unrealistic, Nikoloski said.

Ivanka Vasilevska from VMRO-DPMNE added that the budget is clearly planned to provide additional funds to bribe voters with the 2021 municipal elections in mind. The SDSM led Government showed that this is their main priority in 2020, she added.

The Government is not thinking about helping the businesses or the citizens. The Government is abusing the pandemic to lay the groundwork for future electoral manipulations, Vasilevska said.

Much of the deficit built up so far this year was spent on direct transfers to households in the run up to the July 15 elections, which helped the ruling SDSM party in the polls, but did nothing to prop up the economy – and the citizens lost whatever was distributed to them with the post-election electricity price hike and the overall deterioration of the economy. Nikoloski said that the budget is now projecting a billion EUR in revenue in just the fourth quarter of the year, as the crisis is again escalating, which he said is completely unrealistic.

It projects an increase in revenue of 6.3 percent compared to last year, when we didn’t have the corona crisis. How is that supposed to happen? It can’t, and it means that the deficit will actually be much higher than it is now projected, Nikoloski said.