ZAGREB, March 18 (Croatia Sun News) – Finance Minister Zdravko Maric stated that he did not expect employers to lay off workers because of the coronavirus crisis, adding that the government would inject up to HRK 40 billion into the economy because of the crisis.
The government is very close to including households too in the deferral of loan payments, Maric said on Croatian Radio.
He said parliament today would start debating 63 measures the government was proposing as part of an economy package. He said some time would be reserved for potential amendments and that voting was expected on Thursday. The measures will then be published in the Official Gazette and enter into force.
Regarding the deferral of tax payments, Maric said, “The criterion for the Tax Administration is that you pay taxes regularly and that you can prove, through a decrease in revenue, that you already feel or will feel the effect of coronavirus on your business.” In that case, he added, tax payments would be deferred for three months and possibly another three.
As for the deferral of loan payments, Maric said the criterion, again, would be whether someone was repaying their loans regularly. As of December 31, over 90% of people do that, he added.
Asked how much the government would inject into the economy because of the coronavirus crisis, Maric said about HRK 6-7 billion was generated monthly from income tax, profit tax and contributions.
He added that, according to estimates, that would apply to a half to two thirds of businesses and employees. When the three-month deferral is added, that is another HRK 9-12 billion, he said.
As for a Labour Ministry measure to help with the payment of a minimum wage of HRK 3,250, Maric said it was estimated that it would apply to 400,000 people and cost HRK 4 billion over three months.
Maric said the central bank and credit institutions estimated that deferral of loan payments for businesses and households would cost another HRK 17 billion.
He said state finances were stable, that salaries, pensions and bank savings were secure, and that the government would do its utmost for that not to change.
(€1 = HRK 7.57)