Bulgaria's Pension Increase: Christmas Bonuses Every Month in 2024Society | November 7, 2023, Tuesday // 12:22| views
In response to a question regarding Christmas supplements for pensioners in December, Finance Minister Asen Vassilev revealed that pensions would be increased by approximately 11% in the coming year. This represents a shift from the traditional practice of providing Christmas supplements, with the government now prioritizing ongoing pension increases.
Vassilev explained, "The policy that we have been maintaining since 2021 is for a permanent increase in pensions. This year, pensions were raised by 12%, and next year, while final calculations are pending, it appears the increase will be around 11%. This means that pensioners will effectively receive Christmas supplements every month, a fairer approach than relying on one-time annual handouts."
This announcement comes on the same day Bulgaria announced a successful issuance of foreign debt totaling 2.3 billion euros. According to the finance minister, this new debt acquisition ensures that the country has secured the necessary financial resources to cover the deficit and refinance maturing debt in the following year. With these funds, Bulgaria reaches the limit of permissible new external debt as defined in the budget. Notably, this marks the second foreign debt issuance of the year, with the earlier one in January taking place at the service cabinet.
Minister Vassilev emphasized the cost-effectiveness of the recent foreign debt issuance, stating, "We managed to raise the seven-year debt with a premium of 150 basis points, which is 1.5% above the standard rate. This premium is significantly more favorable compared to Bulgaria's previous debt issuance, where the premium exceeded 2.25%."
The new external debt comprises two bond issues maturing at 7.5 and 12.5 years.
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