Stakeholders will start the debate on the 2023 state budget at the house finance committee on Monday, with final decisions expected in early December.

In a challenging international economic environment and with European economies facing growing inflationary pressures, this year’s budget is increased by €525 million compared with last year.

According to Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides, who will analyse data related to the country’s economy during the parliamentary session next week, the increase is governed by the rise in operating, development and social expenditure due to inflation and a reduction in the amount to service interest on public debt.

Development expenditure, he said, is up by about 12 per cent, while social expenditure is also up by about 4 per cent. The state’s operating expenditure is up by 15 per cent due to inflation.

A growth rate of 3 per cent is projected for 2023, as well as a 3 per cent inflation rate and a 6.4 per cent unemployment rate.

Last month, cabinet approved the state budget for 2023, with Petrides saying that it is the ‘greenest’ the country ever had. It includes the most digital transition projects and the most expansive social state policies, increased by 5 per cent compared with last year, the minister had said.

Discussion on next year’s state budget will take place twice a week, every Monday and Friday.

According on the schedule so far, on Monday, relevant stakeholders will discuss the budgets of the deputy ministry of tourism, the shipping deputy ministry and the deputy ministry of research, innovation and digital policy.

The finance minister will present an analysis of state revenues, fiscal indicators, economic policy and the fiscal situation as well as data regarding his ministry, the treasury of the Republic, the directorate general of growth of the ministry and the management of public dept.

Governor of the Central Bank, Constantinos Herodotou, will also analyse the situation and estimates for the Cypriot economy.

At the next meeting on Friday, November 4, the budgets of the energy ministry and agriculture ministry are expected to be discussed.

On Monday, November 7, officials will discuss the budgets of the health ministry, the internal audit service and the law commissioner.

The budgets of the foreign ministry, the commissioner for personal data protection and the commissioner for children’s rights and the ombudswoman’s are on the schedule for Friday, November 11.

As regards the budgets of the education ministry, the independent anti-corruption authority and the house of representatives, those will be discussed on Monday, November 14.

On Friday November 18, the budgets of the justice ministry, the judicial service and the legal service will be discussed, while on Monday, November 21, stakeholders will discuss the budgets of the ministries of interior and defence as well as the office of the commissioner for state aid control.

The following Friday, November 25, the budgets of the labour ministry and the deputy ministry of social welfare will be debated. On the last Monday of November, the budgets of the transport ministry, commission for the protection of competition, the tender review authority and the audit office will be discussed.

The three-day plenary session to approve the state budget is set for December 6, 7 and 8.