2016 Budget: Healthcare, Education, IDPs in focus of social-oriented budget

Next year's state budget will allocate 3 million GEL to healthcare, 85 million GEL to IDPs and 1 billion GEL to education. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
Agenda.ge, 27 Nov 2015 - 12:55, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Government of Georgia believes next year’s budget has a clear "social orientation” that focuses on the social needs of citizens.

At today’s Governmental meeting members of the Government discussed how to divide the 2016 state budget – and they decided to spend money on social sectors that would greatly benefit the Georgian population.

Increasing the amount of money allocated to Georgia’s healthcare and education systems was part of the social-oriented budget, which also focused on providing better assistance for refugees.

If in 2012 the expenses of Georgia’s Ministry of Health amounted to 1.8 billion GEL, next year it will exceed 3 billion GEL, which means it almost doubled. In order to implement the Universal Healthcare Program without any obstacles, it was decided 570 million GEL will be allocated from next year’s state budget [to healthcare],” said Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

Next year 85 million GEL will be allocated to the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia. This will be a 240 percent increase on the 25 million GEL allocated to the Ministry in 2012.

After healthcare education was deemed the second "most important” sector to receive the "largest financial resource” next year.

For [education] more than 1 billion GEL will be allocated from the 2016 state budget. Compared to 2012, next year’s state budget increases education financing by 55 percent. Teachers’ basic salaries will increase by 70 percent from 2012 to 2016,” said Garibashvili.

An earlier Governmental decision will see teachers receive an average salary of between 600 and 700 GEL in April 2016. Education Minister Tamar Sanikidze said until now the average teachers’ salary in Georgia was 400-500 GEL.

She added there were plans to also increase teachers’ salaries in 2017 so that people in this profession would receive a salary that "finally equalled” the average salary in Georgia.

Official data said in 2014 the average monthly nominal salary in Georgia was 818 GEL.

Meanwhile teachers’ basic salaries started to increase in April 2015. At that time the basic teaching salary was 405 GEL. Since then step-by-step teachers’ salaries has increased.

The PM said scientists’ salaries would also increase. In the past scientists received a "scanty salary” of 150-200 GEL however this had increased by 200-300 percent and now scientists in Georgia’s research and innovation councils now earned 700-800 GEL.