On 7 May 2015 before the Legal Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, the Minister of Defence, Tina Khidasheli, talked about the defence budget. According to the Minister, one of the defence budget’s major problems is the so-called social expenditures. Approximately 80% of the total budget includes social expenditures and is spent on wages.FactCheck
took interest in the accuracy of the statement.
According to the 2015 plan (page 15), the budget of the Ministry of Defence was set at GEL 650 million. The final version of the 2015 defence budget is accessible on the Ministry of Defence’s website. The document indicates that GEL 640 million has been allocated from the state budget for the Ministry of Defence. The total expenditures of the Ministry of Defence are GEL 614 million. Of this sum, GEL 404 million is allocated for remuneration.
|Org. Code||Name||Approved Budget (GEL)|
|29 00||Ministry of Defence of Georgia||640,000,0000|
|Growth of Non-financial Actives||25,231,000|
The expenditures component of the Ministry of Defence’s budget is allocated for four priorities. Of these priorities, the combat readiness upgrade of the armed forces is allocated GEL 611.
|29 01||Armed Forces Combat Readiness Upgrade||611,304,000|
|Growth of Non-financial Actives||24,800,000|
Further, GEL 19 million is allocated for military education development.
|29 02||Military Education Development||19,520,000|
|Growth of Non-financial Actives||204,000|
Additionally, GEL 8 million is allocated for the healthcare and social security of personnel.
|29 03||Healthcare and Social Security of Personnel||8,000,0000|
|Growth of Non-financial Actives||0,0|
Cyber security is allocated GEL 1,644,000.
|29 04||Cyber Security||1,644,000|
|Growth of Non-financial Actives||227,000|
The Ministry of Defence plans to spend GEL 614 million. Of this amount, GEL 404 million is allocated for the wage fund. In total, a large part of the Ministry of Defence’s expenditures is allocated for wages. This number is approximately 65% as opposed to the 80% as claimed by the Minister herself.
Of note is that almost 67% of the total defence expenditures in 2014 were allocated for wages whilst this amount was 60% in 2013.
As illustrated by a further analysis of the Ministry of Defence’s budget for 2015, 25% of the remaining expenditures are allocated to respective fields and categorised as so-called "operative expenditures."FactCheck
contacted a member of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, Nodar Kharshiladze (the former Deputy Defence Minister). According to Mr Kharshiladze, the Ministry of Defence’s spending policy differs from that of NATO’s standards. For instance, according to NATO’s standards, 50% of the budget should be allocated for wages and 20%-25% for fuel and lubricants, and technological development. As we can see, the 2015 budget of the Ministry of Defence is GEL 640 million whilst the Ministry’s actual expenditures constitute GEL 614 million. According to Mr Kharshiladze, GEL 26 million is presumably allocated for classified purchases which naturally cannot be public information.
The Ministry of Defence has been allocated GEL 640 million for its 2015 budget. The Ministry divided its expenditures of GEL 614 million into five priorities with 65% of that sum designated for wages. As we can see, a large part of the expenditures is indeed allocated for wages as stated by the Minister of Defence. However, the amount of money allocated for wages is 65% as opposed to the 80% as claimed by Ms Khidasheli. This number was 60% in 2013 and 67% in 2014.FactCheck concludes that Tina Khidasheli’s statement is MOSTLY TRUE.