The surplus in Serbia’s 2020 budget should be used to lower taxes and increase infrastructure investments, not for salaries, the Serbian Fiscal Council said on Thursday.
Council Chairman Pavle Petrovic warned of that the 9.5 percent rise in public sector salaries was too high and economically unjustified. He added that a third of the budget surplus would be used to cover the rise in salaries.
He told a new conference that a rise in pensions of 5.5 percent is justified, adding that public sector salaries should rise by that same percentage.
Petrovic said that a surplus of some 45 billion Dinars (1 Euro – 118 Dinars) is expected in next year’s budget. He said that just under 20 billion Dinars should be used to lower income taxes and duties from 62 to 60 percent. Another 20 to 25 billion should be used for infrastructure investments, primarily to resolve communal problems and protect the environment, stressing the need to expand the sewage network in the country.
He warned that economic growth is insufficient and would most probably stand at just over three percent in 2019 with a similar growth expected in 2020.