Sept 2 (Reuters) - Following is a summary of austerity
measures implemented by European countries outside the euro
-- Finance minister George Osborne, in the harshest budget
in a generation, promised in June to bring a record fiscal
deficit of 11 percent of GDP down to 1 percent in five years. He
announced a rise in VAT sales tax to 20 percent from 17.5 from
January 2011, and a new 2 billion pound levy on banks.
-- Osborne plans to cut government spending by a quarter
over the next four years. Only the National Health Service and
development aid will be spared the axe.
-- The government coalition has already cut spending by 6.25
billion pounds in the current year and scrapped a 55 billion
pound school rebuilding and refurbishment programme.
-- It will also accelerate an increase in the state pension
age to 66 years from 65.
-- Suffering from a deep recession and reliant on a 20
billion euro IMF-led aid package to shore up investor support,
Romania is cutting public sector salaries by 25 percent.
-- It has raised VAT by 5 percentage points to 24 percent.
-- It pledged to cut numbers of state employees by 70,000 to
1.29 million by 2011 and hiked individual and corporate taxes.
-- Bulgaria was forced in April to delay plans to adopt the
euro after it revealed a hidden budget deficit for 2009 due to
dozens of unaccounted procurement deals signed by the previous
-- It has increased its projected deficit shortfall to 4.8
percent of GDP in 2010 due to delayed payments to businesses,
extra funds for healthcare and infrastructure and falling
revenues, but plans to trim that to below 2.5 percent in 2011.
-- The government trimmed 2010 spending plans by 900 million
levs ($584 million), cutting funds to almost all ministries.
-- The centre-right government plans to cut the 2011 public
sector gap to 4.6 percent of GDP from 5.3 percent seen this year
via spending cuts.
Main savings measures for 2011 include:
-- A 10 percent across-the-board cut in most operating
spending, including the sum for state workers' wages, excluding
teachers. This should bring 31 billion crowns ($1.61 billion).
-- Trim wages of senior public officials and lawmakers.
-- Reduce the annual state subsidy on housing construction
savings by half to 1,500 crowns per person per year.
-- Cut social benefits, reduce maternity leave and tighten
-- The centre-right minority government plans to save $4
billion over the next three years to bring Denmark back within
the EU's deficit limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product.
-- It expects nil growth in public expenditure in 2010 and
0.6 percent growth in 2011. It forecasts a public sector deficit
of 4.6 percent of GDP for 2010 and 4.4 percent in 2011.
-- Talks between the centre-right Fidesz government that
took office in May and the IMF and European Union about economic
policy collapsed in July.
-- The government announced a package of measures to keep
the 2010 budget deficit at the target of 3.8 percent of GDP
agreed by its Socialist predecessor with international lenders.
-- Parliament has enacted a 200 billion forint (about 0.7
percent of GDP) tax levy on the financial sector for both 2010
an 2011, which the IMF said could curb economic growth. The
government has also said it would freeze some expenditures at
budget institutions to save 120 billion forints.
-- The previous government lifted the main value-added tax
(VAT) rate to 25 percent from 20 percent in 2009, cut pensions
and passed a law to gradually increase the retirement age.
-- Iceland adopted an austerity plan in 2009 to restore
public finances in accordance with line with a $2.1 billion
International Monetary Fund aid scheme.
-- The plan, which includes a high-income tax, higher
capital gains tax, higher employment insurance payments by
employers and taxes on sweets and soft drinks, is expected to
close a 170 billion Icelandic crown budget gap in the coming
years. Iceland has pledged to reach a primary surplus by 2011
and an overall surplus by 2013.
-- Poland's economy is in better shape than most of its
peers, but the centre-right government last month agreed steps
to tame a budget deficit expected to hit nearly 7 percent of GDP
in 2010. They include a cap on discretionary budget spending,
more selloffs of state assets and a 1 point hike in value-added
tax, bringing the basic rate to 23 percent.
-- The government aims to tighten retirement rules for
uniformed services but has shied away from raising the general
retirement age for Poles for now.
-- Poland may consider lowering the level of spending on its
armed forces, now fixed by law at 1.95 percent of GDP. President
Bronislaw Komorowski has also cited costs as a reason for
wanting to bring Polish troops back from Afghanistan by 2012.
-- Parliament approved fresh austerity measures in June.
They include caps on parental leave benefits; a freeze on
transfers from a state-run pension fund to private pension
funds; extending a two-year freeze on public administration
wages beyond end-2010.
-- The minority government is expected to hold a new vote on
hiking the retirement ago after parliament returns from recess
on Sept 10.
-- Lithuania already cut public sector wages and social
benefits and raised taxes last year to curb its deficit, which
hit 8.9 percent of GDP in 2009 as the economy contracted 14.8
percent and unemployment surged.
-- Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said no large cuts were
planned in the budget 2011.
-- Latvia, which has implemented tough budget cuts to
qualify for loans from an international bailout, aims to pare
its budget deficit by 2.5 percent of GDP to 6 percent in 2011.
Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said the target would be
partly met by economic growth and larger tax revenues.
-- Under the 7.5 billion euro ($10.2 billion) IMF-led deal
agreed in 2008, Latvia had to cut the deficit by 500 million
lats ($893 million) in both 2009 and 2010.
-- The minority government, facing an election in October,
had said that a further 800-900 million lats of cuts would be
needed over 2011 and 2012. The IMF has said Latvia would need to
reduce the budget deficit by 395-440 million lats in 2011.
-- Latvia most likely will significantly raise real estate
taxes and hike value-added tax on products and services to 18
percent from 10 percent.
Source: Reuters bureaux
(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;
Editing by John Stonestreet)