There is no money in the budget to cover the state’s financial assistance to young people in Serbia aged 16 to 30 and first-time mothers, and the state will be forced to borrow, most economists agree.
Chief Economist of the government’s Fiscal Council, Danko Brčerević, has said that President Vučić’s decision to pay out 100 euros from the state budget to each Serbian citizen, aged 16 to 30, is an indiscriminate measure and that there is no money for it in the Serbian budget for 2022, so the state will have to borrow.
“The decision to give financial assistance to citizens aged 16 to 30 is non-selective, intended for everyone, not just those who need it, and is not planned in the budget. Since the budget is already in deficit, the state must borrow money (to cover this financial aid),” Brčerević told Beta news agency.
According to him, the decision to help young people is perilous because of the rising inflation. Instead of slowing down spending, the state is now encouraging it.
Brčerević said that such and similar aid measures should be carefully planned, an analysis of the effects should be done and, depending on the results, a strategy has to be drafted. Then, the strategy should be discussed by the MPs so that this expenditure would be planned in the budget.
Economist Ljubomir Madžar warns that, first and foremost, the President of the state, Aleksandar Vučić, does not have the authority to make such decisions, and that such decisions are not included in his job description.
“Such decisions do not come under the president’s competence and they constitute legal violations. The president interferes in everything, from repairing power plants to analysing vaccines. This is not his place to interfere,” said Madžar.