Government expenditures in Slovenia are in line with most European countries, reaching 44% of GDP in 2015. Bulk of expenditure consists of social transfers, aimed at income redistribution through welfare programs. The austerity programs initiated after the fiscal crisis hit Slovenia, curbed public deficit to approximately 3% of GDP in 2015, in line with Maastricht criteria. Public debt is high, standing at 83% of GDP in 2015. Announced loosening of the fiscal position, via increase in wage bill and other current expenditures, will lead to deficit increase. Slovenia recorded a moderate growth, reaching 2.3% in 2015, fuelled by strong export performance towards its EU economic partners. There was never a large scale privatization program in Slovenia, and therefore state-owned enterprises
(SOE) are present in many areas of the economy, especially in banking and insurance, energy and transport. In those SOEs government is either a majority or a minority equity stakeholder. In 2015, government prepared an asset management strategy for companies in state ownership. The strategy divided SOEs in three distinctive groups: strategic, important and portfolio, and state approach to an individual SOE will depend on its classification: majority equity, controlling equity or non-mandatory equity. Management efficiency of many SOEs is under question mark, especially in the banking sector. Corporate tax is relatively low, set at 17%, while VAT is at 22.5% (standard) and 9.5% (the reduced rate). Personal income tax is highly progressive, with rates of 16%, 27%, 41% and 50%. Social contributions paid by the employee and employer are also high, leading to overall high tax wedge, above the OECD average.