Coalition parties want balanced budget by 2018
(CS/DS) Government “formateur” Xavier Bettel announced on Friday that all three coalition partners want a balanced budget within this legislative period.
Bettel was speaking to the press after another round of coalition talks between the DP, the LSAP and “déi Gréng”. During the meeting, financial experts had warned that government debt could breach the 30 percent of GDP ceiling in 2016 should no action be taken.
This has been regarded as a crucial threshold by politicians in Luxembourg.
Earlier this week, the EU's autumn forecasts had predicted a 29 percent of GDP debt for 2015.
The LSAP's Etienne Schneider commented that breaching the Maastricht criteria should be avoided at all costs, as the “consequences would be catastrophic.”
The DP's Claude Meisch explained that Luxembourg would have to borrow some 1.6 million euros per year by 2015 to cover its costs. The debt and the burden of interest could lead to a loss of the Grand Duchy's triple A status, he added.
How exactly the new coalition plans to tackle the problem will now be addressed by the working groups with a first plan set to be evaluated by the coalition parties on November 24.
Tax increases are not off the table; however, all parties want to start by decreasing spending and trying to manage available funds better.
Meanwhile, Bettel did not give any details about the state of affairs in the proposed take-over of a minority share in Cargolux by a Chinese investor group. He explained that, in order not to damage ongoing talks, internal information would not be brought to the public.
There will be more transparency about the coalition talks themselves, however, Bettel promised. All documents will be made public once talks have ended.
The next round of discussions is scheduled for Monday.