Social protection was one of the most important functions in government expenditure in 2014 and it was also the most important in Croatia, the European statistical office Eurostat reported on Tuesday.
Government expenditure on social protection accounted for the greatest share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in all EU countries except Cyprus where bank recapitalisation accounted for most government expenditure, 18.8% of GDP.
The function 'social protection' was by far the most important, accounting for 25.4% of GDP in Finland, 24.8% in France, and 24.5% in Denmark. In Austria, Italy, Sweden, Greece and Slovakia social protection accounted for one fifth of GDP.
According to Eurostat, expenditure for social protection in Croatia accounted for 15.7% of GDP. A similar share was recorded in Hungary (16.1%) and Great Britain (16.5%).
Romania and the Baltic member states Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia each spent less than 12% of GDP on social protection, Eurostat reported.
In almost all EU states the share of social protection expenditure related to old age, with the highest share recorded in Greece (15.3%), followed by Italy (14%), France (13.7%) and Austria (13.2%). In Croatia the share of old age care was 6.7%, followed by health and disability allowances, accounting for 5.0% of GDP.