STA, 13 October 2021 - In line with the budget documents for 2022 and 2023, the budget of the Interior Ministry will reach EUR 553.75 million in 2022, which Interior Minister Aleš Hojs said in parliament today was a record high budget since the founding of the ministry. In 2023, the ministry is to receive EUR 542.2 million.
Hojs told the parliamentary Home Affairs, Public Administration and Local Government Committee that some major projects would be completed in 2022, so the spending would be a bit lower the year after.
This year's budget needed to be raised also due to higher wages of police officers and other employees during the Covid-19 epidemic. "In 2022 and 2023 the increase reflects the share of personal income that will increase in line with an agreement we have reached with both police trade unions," he said, adding that the condition for the rise was the adoption of the organisation and work of the police act, which was still under way.
Among the planned investments, the minister highlighted police equipment, new police vehicles, a purchase of a transport helicopter and two observation helicopters, and two vessels.
In line with the budget documents, the Public Administration Ministry will have EUR 172.7 million at its disposal in 2022 and EUR 191.7 million in 2023.
Public Administration Minister Boštjan Koritnik said 51 people would be hired at administrative units across the country to help service citizens and that the funds would also be used for the construction of broadband networks of the next generation.
Digital Transformation Minister Mark Boris Andrijanič said EUR 22.38 million would be allocated for digital transformation in 2022 and EUR 35.97 in 2023.
The funded projects will focus on improving digital skills among vulnerable groups, support to the young in obtaining digital skills, and the setting up of Slovenia's development and economic representation office in the Silicon Valley, US.
Boštjan Koražija from the opposition Left welcomed the increase in funding for police protective equipment and better working conditions but expressed hope the money will not be used for "police repression".
He believes not one multi-purpose helicopter but at least three would be needed, for which the government would need to secure funding in the 2022, 2023 budgets.
Hojs later explained that in line with an agreement with the defence and health ministries, a decision had been made for the army to conduct emergency medical assistance, while the police would provide it "secondary assistance".
Andrej Rajh from the opposition Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) said the government was financially exhausting the state while on power while others would need to clean up the mess. He pointed to what he thinks is a big public debt.
Andrej Černigoj from the junior coalition New Slovenia (NSi) said Rajh was being populistic, as Slovenia's public debt was still well below the EU average.
Bojana Muršič from the Social Democrats (SD) said it was irresponsible to discuss the 2023 budget as a new government would be in power then.