The Slovenia Times

Deal between coalition and Left marked by welfare-oriented measures


While the framework cooperation agreement, which led to the Left indirectly backing the appointment of the new cabinet last September, will remain only initialled for now, the plan for 2019 is proceeding from initials to signatures as a key vote on the 2019 budget is due on Wednesday.

The list of measures, rooted in the general coalition agreement that also bears some marks of the Left, includes several that will also be managed by the opposition party, among them measures related to precarious labour, housing, healthcare and corporate taxation.

The party, which can add nine votes to the coalition's 43 in the 90-member National Assembly, for instance wants to phase out special agencies acting as intermediates for student work, tackle the outsourcing of work from the public sector, reduce the share of agency work at companies, and secure sickness benefits for those self-employed in culture.

In housing, the Left wants to organise a transfer of all housing property held by the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC) or bad bank to housing funds, and a closer regulation of the rental market, for instance by capping rents and their growth. Another goal is the regulation of platforms like Airbnb.

As for corporate taxation, the Left is pursuing a minimal effective tax rate of 5%, which has already been proposed by the Finance Ministry. Also, a gradual increase of the general corporate tax rate from 19% to 22% is envisaged.

Another major change the Left is insisting on is the abolition of compulsory supplementary health insurance, which has been involving private insurers. The agreement includes the caveat that the Left and coalition partners will first examine the financial feasibility of immediately introducing this measure.

While the Left is suggesting it will spearhead the mentioned projects, several shared initiatives are also listed in the agreement.

The welfare-oriented ones involve closer regulation of overtime work and taking on the exploitation of workers who obtain the status of sole proprietors.

The plans moreover include reducing the tax burden on wages and the holiday allowance. The head of the Left Luka Mesec has said that many questions remain open as regards changes to tax legislation that have already been drawn up by the Finance Ministry.

The agreement also envisages a task force that will start discussing a new state asset management strategy. A demographic fund, which would take on the ageing population and pensions issue, is being announced as part of that.

Another task force is to look at pension legislation, with the Left insisting on commitments laid out in the coalition agreement. These include a raising of the minimum pension for those with full pensions to a level above the at risk of poverty threshold.

Also to be drawn up jointly are proposals for the 2020 and 2021 budgets and for measures in healthcare focusing on shorter waiting lines and stronger public healthcare.

Meanwhile, the agreement also regulates relations among the signatories. In all measures the collation partners are obliged to first seek a compromise with the Left and only then look for support with other deputy groups.

If coordination is secured, the Left is in turn obliged to support the coalition in the adoption of the government budget and related documents and to refrain from voting against any new ministerial candidates. The signatories are also to avoid filing or participating in motions of no confidence in cabinet members or the government as a whole.


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