Zagreb - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković presented a draft state budget for 2018 to parliament on Wednesday, saying that next year his government would focus on the needs of the people and on the necessary reforms in order to raise productivity and living standards.
"This is why we will continue implementing the national reform programme through further reduction of non-tax contributions and additional tax reliefs, and we will simplify regulatory requirements for businesses and prevent the introduction of new administrative burdens," the PM said in parliament.
These measures will strengthen the national economy, its resistance and competitiveness, Plenković said.
"With this draft budget, the government wants to continue implementing its programme and to meet the expectations of the Croatian people," Plenković said.
The draft budget reflects the clear government policy based on sustainable public finances with the aim to prevent us from spending more than we have and to reduce the public debt, Plenković said. "The government is continuing with tax reliefs for citizens and business people," the prime minister said.
The economy is improving, with real GDP growing at an annual rate of 2.7% in the first half of 2017, and the growth is expected to pick up in the second half of the year, Plenković said. We also recorded growth in industrial output, turnover, retail sales, construction, and tourism, while the registered unemployment rate is at its lowest level and employment continues growing, Plenković said. He also expects this year's economic growth to amount to 3.2%, as projected by the European Commission.
"We must make use of the favourable impulses from the domestic and international environment to make our economic growth more stable and permanent, to reduce excessive macroeconomic imbalances and secure further employment and job creation", Plenković said. (Hina)