Opposition slams gov't for accepting only five of its amendments to 2022 budget

Zagreb - The opposition on Monday called the five amendments worth HRK 11 million to the draft 2022 state budget which the government accepted from the opposition "peanuts," announcing that they will not vote for it and that they will demand a property tax.

Sandra Benčić of the Green-Left Bloc said their HRK 4 million amendment that the government accepted was really important to them as it raised funds for the housing of women victims of domestic violence from the envisaged HRK 625,000.

She said their amendment on the establishment of a helicopter emergency medical service was also really important, adding that for the price of one plane, helicopters could have been available in almost all of Croatia.

The Green-Left Bloc also submitted amendments concerning healthcare, social rights, and higher amounts for the green transition, Benčić said, adding that "it's really pathetic of this government" to accept only nine amendments out of the 475 submitted, including four from the majority.

The government accepted an amendment by Boška Ban Vlahek of the Social Democratic Party to increase funds for the Čakovec Education Centre by HRK 6 million.

Siniša Hajdaš Dončić (SDP) said Prime Minister Andrej Plenković did not have even the minimum consensus on the development of Croatian society, from energy poverty to functionally merging municipalities and towns as announced in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

"In economics, five out of 475 amendments worth HRK 11 million is peanuts," he added.

Next year we will insist on a property tax because it is extremely unjust, Hajdaš Dončić said, that a person with three, four or five properties, like banks and corporations, pays nothing, while the average citizen has their work taxed and pays one of the highest VAT rates in Europe.

Marin Lerotić of the Istrian Democratic Party said the government accepted one of their amendments, just as it did last year, but added that there was a big difference between what was accepted and what was realised in the end.

Last year they accepted our amendment to rehabilitate the police station building in Poreč but the project has not been realised, he said. We don't expect this one, for the rehabilitation of the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč, to be either, and we think this is all just for show, he added.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Author: Hina