Skopje, 29 March 2020 (MIA) – To protect jobs, to make sure everyone have enough money to get through this period, to protect the liquidity of the budget so as to perform the tasks and to protect the liquidity of the economy, which needs to be restarted afterwards. These are the goals guiding us to weather the crisis and manage the budget, Finance Minister Nina Angelovska has said.
“Everything that has been at the disposal to tackle the crisis cannot be subject to cuts, for example healthcare and security,” she told Radio Free Europe when asked which sectors could see cuts in the budget.
Money, Angelovska said, should be provided to make sure the citizens have the means, to make sure welfare is paid, while everyone should be realistic about the situation and show solidarity.
“When considering expenditure cuts, certain goods and services will see cuts, namely certain capital services such as buying of equipment, licenses, software, etc – everything that is not directly linked to ways to tackle the coronacrisis is possible to experience cuts. There’s one and only objective – to protect jobs, to make sure people have money to get through this, to show solidarity, to protect the budget’s liquidity and the liquidity of the economy, which after all of this ends will have to be restarted in order to continue to fill in the pipe, which would benefit the expenditures,” said Angelovska.
The first set of measures, which offers zero-interest loans, subsidies for contributions and postponement of profit tax advance payments stands nearly at EUR 40 million.
“Roughly, we are talking about EUR 40 million and additional EUR 50 million that will be made available by the Macedonian Development Bank – as already announced – for the economy as loans. The conditions are being defined and talks are under way with commercial banks, because they will be available through the commercial banks since it is a loan from the European Investment Bank. We’ve considering changing the conditions so as to be available to address the crisis and help the economy’s liquidity. The second set of measures is yet to be announced. However, the measure envisaging payment of minimum salary in the crisis-hit sectors and industries would cost somewhere between 100 million and 120 million euros,” Minister Angelovska told Radio Free Europe.