MPs approved the government’s second supplementary €345m budget on Friday with 49 votes in favour and one abstention.
The key points of the additional budget are €150m to be spent on health, the €93m extra for the social security fund, €30m for subsidies towards the increase in electricity costs, €10m for Ukrainian refugees and €800,000 for unaccompanied minors seeking asylum.
The supplementary budget also includes support measures for farmers at €4.4m, the purchase of medicines and vaccines for €3.8m, and increased social benefits for people with disabilities at €1.4m.
The finance minister said that the fiscal impact of the supplementary budget is limited to €101.5m, or 0.4 per cent of GDP.
The plenary rejected Akel’s proposed amendments, which included axing the funds towards the separation of the supreme court.
During the debate, Disy MP Onoufrios Koulla said that the supplementary budget demonstrates that the government has the fiscal capacity to support the state’s policies.
“To directly or indirectly support our fellow citizens,” he said, referring to the increased contribution to the social security fund and the bolstered health budget.
Diko deputy leader Christiana Erotokritou said the party voted in favour of the supplementary budget, but criticised the €30m towards electricity subsidies as being too little.
“We note with regret that despite the fact that the biggest problem is the cost of energy, which threatens households and small and medium-sized businesses, which means more unemployment, the only amount within the supplementary budget is €30m,” she said.
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