The government on Thursday formally submitted to the House the state budget for 2024 and the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework 2024-2026, marking the beginning of the proceedings for their discussion and approval by the end of the year.

The state balance sheet presents projected revenues amounting to €9.892 billion, marking a 9.6 per cent increase compared to the previous year, while expenditures (excluding loan repayments and investments) are expected to rise by 17.7 per cent to reach €10.584 billion.

Development expenditures are expected to increase from €1.295 billion in 2023 to €1.478 billion in 2024.

Taxation is the primary source of revenue, with approximately 81 per cent of total revenues coming from direct and indirect taxes.

Regarding expenses, the most significant increase is observed in personnel expenses, including pensions and grants, with an increase of approximately 14 per cent. This increase is mainly due to increased nominal benefits and contributions to insurance funds such as the Social Insurance Fund and the National Health System.

Operating expenses are expected to rise by approximately 7 per cent in 2024, reaching €1.168 billion. The increase is mainly due to increases in allocations for maintenance/repairs and provisions for defence and policing expenses.

Transfer payouts (social transfers) are expected to go up by approximately 16 per cent, from €3.198 billion in 2023 to €3.709 billion in 2024.

Meanwhile expenditures on servicing the public debt show a significant increase of 68.5 per cent, estimated at €3.379 billion in 2024, compared to €2.005 billion in 2023.

According to the budget bill, GDP is expected to grow from €28.876 billion in 2023 to €30.417 billion in 2024.

The unemployment rate is forecast to drop from 6.5 per cent in 2023 to 5.8 per cent in 2024.

Inflation is projected to remain relatively low, declining from 3.5 per cent in 2023 to 2.5 per cent in 2024.

Public debt as a percentage of GDP is projected to continue falling, from 80.9 per cent in 2023 to 72.9 per cent in 2024.