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Bulgaria Ups by 1.8 Percentage Points Social Security Burden

Date: 04.01.2011

Bulgaria has increased by 1.8 percentage points social contribution payments as of next year, following the agreement to this effect that the government and employers reached last year.

Bulgaria's government backtracked in October last year on plans to increase social contributions payments by 3 percentage points as of next year to 31.5 % in the face of strong resistance.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov then said the government decided to up payments for social security for retirement by 3 percentage points in a bid to relieve the country's strained health care system.

The move was motivated by the fact that funds for healtcare, which are not sufficient anyway, are apparently being used to supply the state retirement pension system.

Business and employer associations slammed the increase and warned the move will hinder the country's fragile economic recovery.

Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest country, faced its first recession in 12 years after a three-year lending boom stalled and foreign investment dried up.

The government has pledged to stick to a tight fiscal policy and keep the deficit below 3 % by the end of this year.

The recovery of the Bulgarian economy, which operates in a currency board regime, is lagging behind that of other Eastern European countries.

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