November 30 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian lawmakers adopted at first reading a proposal by the caretaker government to extend into next year the provisions of the 2022 budget which was revised as of July 1, parliament said.
The decision passed in a 127-2 vote with 90 abstentions in the 240-seat National Assembly, parliament said in a statement on Tuesday.
The state budget for social security and health insurance will also be prolonged into 2023 under the decision.
Almost two months after the early general election held on October 2 the seven political forces represented in the new parliament have failed to form a coalition government. In late October, the finance ministry said it intended to propose to parliament to approve a budget deficit for 2023 equivalent to 6.6% of the planned gross domestic product (GDP), or 11.6 billion levs, under one of its three potential draft budget versions. In an about-turn shortly after, however, the ministry said it would propose to parliament to extend the 2022 budget into next year until an elected government is formed.
The stop-gap financing means that the anti-crisis measures adopted in the July revision of the 2022 budget will remain in force. These include scrapping excise tax on electricity, liquefied natural gas and natural gas until June 30, 2025 and levying a value-added tax of 9% on heating and natural gas instead of 20% in order to cushion the impact of high energy prices and rising inflation on businesses and households.
The 2 billion levs ($1.06 billion/1.02 billion euro) anti-crisis package also removed VAT on bread and milling flour until July 1, 2023 and provided a government subsidy of 0.25 levs per litre on the pump price of motor fuels until the end of 2022.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)