In the 2016 draft budget, the government plans to cut public transport subsidies for secondary school students, Education Minister Predrag Sustar said on Thursday after a government session.
As of the next school year, the government will co-finance 50% instead of 75% of public transport costs for high school students, whereby the government will save HRK 94 million annually, Sustar told the press, adding that the government would continue to cover full transport costs for socially vulnerable students.
As of the next school year, transport subsidies will be tied to a means test, for which criteria are being worked out, Sustar said, adding that local government units could compensate for the subsidy reduction, primarily through European Union funds.
Sustar is pleased that expenditures for employees will be increased based on past performance as well as funds for post-graduate students and for centres of excellence.
Social Policy and Youth Minister Bernarda Juretic said her ministry's budget was at last year's level and that she was satisfied with that amount. "We believe that not one group of our beneficiaries will be impaired."
Asked by press if there would be changes to child allowances, she said that a HRK 7,500 bonus for every newborn could be introduced once legislation was aligned and that that could be achieved within a couple of months.
Labour and Pension System Minister Nada Sikic said her ministry would receive HRK 350 million more than in the execution for 2015, HRK 400 million more for pension indexation and HRK 1.56 billion for child allowances, which is less than last year due to demographic trends. "There are no pension cuts, salaries are staying the same and all outlays from the pension system will remain at the level of 2015."
(EUR 1 = HRK 7.6)