Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

Social Minister Tends to Make Populist Claims

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour and Social Policy Deyana Kostadinova has manifested herself in her career relatively successfully as expert in everything. The certified law graduate has been a head of a Directorate within the State Agency for Child Protection, has been in charge of OP Human Resources Developmentprogramming, has counseled President Rosen Plevneliev and former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to social policies. Obviously there are many talents in Kostadinova, but it is hardly necessary her first public appearances to be flooded with cheap social populism.


During the official acceptance of the position from her predecessor Kostadinova outlined the priorities that she will follow during the two-month term. Goal number one of the young lady will be to look for reserves within the state budget, which would have increased the incomes of the most vulnerable groups. Priority would be given to people who can not pay their energy costs. If we have additional options we will search ways to support a wider range of groups, she said. Then the state would think about another increases in the minimum wage, if financial resources allow this move.


Kostadinova's words are surprising for a person who has been advising the former Prime Minister for two consecutive years and up to know has been responsible for the policies of the European labour market programs and she should be very well acquainted with the international activities of the social ministry. Of course, if there had been any reserves, she should have been the person to immediately recommend such moves.


Realistically, the issue of energy costs is very delicate, because it is difficult to decide whom the state should support in covering them. The powers of the caretaker government include increasing energy benefits and raising the social pension for old age pension, which will be 110 levs as of April 1.


Kostadinova reasonably rejects the possibility of higher than planned increase of pensions by an average of 9.3%, starting April 1, for which the budget has provided an additional 600 million levs. This topic concerns the legislative activity of the next parliament.


The BANKER

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