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House gives nod to extra €92m in govt spending

plenum (file pic)

The House plenum on Thursday gave the nod to an extra €92 million in government spending until the end of the year, over and above the approved budget for fiscal 2021, the lion’s share of which concerns coronavirus-related expenditures.

The €91.7 million comprises the fourth supplementary budget submitted to parliament this year. The amount includes €5 million to special labour ministry schemes supporting jobs (relating to the month of August).

The largest item – €38 million – goes to the purchase of rapid tests, vaccines, remuneration for medical staff, and hospitality costs at the Eden rehabilitation resort for covid-positive individuals.

Another €11.5 million concerns tourism ministry subsidies for ‘staycations’ until the end of the year, and financial obligations of the state to tour operators.

Tacked onto the supplementary budget are €30 million for any ‘extraordinary expenses’ that may arise by year’s end – and relating exclusively to the management of the coronavirus pandemic.

But MPs passed an amendment tying up this €30 million, meaning the government will have to come to parliament and provide documentation before the credits are released.

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