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Georgian Opposition Party Draws up Alternative Draft Budget for 2018

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, December 13
(TBILISI) -- Opposition political party European Georgia has drawn up an alternative draft budget for 2018 that will be submitted to the Parliament for discussions of December 13.

The party’s leader David Bakradze says that their version of the budget will help save around GEL 1.4 billion ($524.83 million) compared to the current draft put forward by the ruling Georgian Dream party.

“The surplus money will be spent on the needs of the population, the creation of jobs and strengthening the country's defense capabilities,” said Bakradze.

According to the alternative draft budget, pensions will increase by GEL 50 ($18.74). Government aid disabled people will increase to GEL 180 ($67.48) and internally displaced people will see their social aid package increased by GEL 25 ($9.37).

GEL 50 million ($18.74 million) would be allocated to compensate farmers affected by an Asian Stink Bug infestations that has destroyed nearly the walnut harvest in western Georgia this year.

The saving would also allow the state to purchase modern high-teach defensive weapons from NATO allies, including the American-made Javelin anti-tank missiles, according to Bakradze.

The official draft budget for 2018 will total GEL 12.36 billion ($4.63 billion), up by GEL 949 million ($355 million) from the 2017 budget.