The Slovenia Times

Employers and Workers Against New Taxes


The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) said in response to the draft programme, which envisages a VAT hike, a crisis tax and possibly a real estate tax among other thing, that securing growth was key if Slovenia wants to be able to pay off the loans being taken out for day-to-day operations.

Instead "it plans to burden the economy with new taxes that will be a clog in the wheel of development and can trigger a new spiral of saving", the chamber wrote.

It added that it recently agreed only to a higher VAT as a last resort and a temporary measure, however it at the same time expected an immediate health care reform, a continuation of the labour reform and above all a more far-reaching rationalisation of the public sector and public spending.

Open opposition to a VAT hike and the introduction of a crisis tax was also expressed by the Chamber of Trade Crafts and Small Business (OZS), which said that case studies of other countries show the taxes would negatively affect growth and competitiveness.

It argued that Slovenia already had heavy tax burdens and that the economy could only cover higher taxes with higher prices of goods and services, which would bring down exports.

The Pergam trade unions confederation argued against additional tax burdens for workers, noting that a crisis tax, a form of payroll tax, would lead to a further decrease in already sluggish consumer spending.

Pergam head Janez Posedi told the press that it will again be "the little man" who will pay "for criminal economic policies of the state".

The head of the ZSSS, the largest trade union confederation, Dušan Semolič shared the main points of the general criticism, and questioned above all the plan to raise the reduced VAT rate.

He was critical of the crisis tax as well. "Two thirds of people working receive wages lower than the average wage and many get the minimum wage," the unionist noted.

Meanwhile, the Stability Programme and the reactions were accompanied today with an announcement by the Slovenian Red Cross that the number of recipients of aid in the country had increased from 40,000 to 150,000 in the past four years.

The organisation expressed its concern hat given the announced higher taxes and cuts to social transfers, the numbers could swell further.


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