The Slovenia Times

FinMin against Increase in Public Spending Despite Growth


"This is a situation that offers tremendous opportunities. To benefit from it we must not make a single mistake. Otherwise we will return to square one - straight back into crisis."

He believes that the level of expenditure in pensions and salaries in the public sector must remain level. As regards economic growth, the minister listed "trust, private spending and investments in the private sector" as key conditions for economic growth.

He said that pension expenditure increased by 14.2% during the crisis, while the public sector wage bill remained virtually unchanged.

"If the ratio between employees and pensioners will continue to drop and if we fail to reach very high economic growth, this system will become unsustainable. The numbers simply don't add up. Period."

Mramor moreover told the paper that the government would analyse Slovenia's tax system and adapt it so as to become competitive. "We may make changes to the personal and corporate income taxes."

"I cannot yet say how [this will be done] but the direction is known. We want lower labour taxes and higher taxes on assets."

A real estate tax could be imposed next year or in 2017, said Mramor, adding that the process would be complicated.

"We want it to be well-thought through and we want a good record of real estate so that the ordeal we experienced recently does not repeat," said Mramor, referring to the 2014 rejection of the real estate tax by the Constitutional Court.

Touching on Slovenia's bad bank, Mramor said that the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC) operated well despite reports by the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption and the Court of Audit that found severe outsourcing irregularities.

"The reports....pertain to 2013. So most of the problems in the decision-making process pointed out in the reports have already been eliminated."

He also reiterated that the government had prepared a new proposal as regards the salaries of BAMC non-executive and executive directors. "We are trying to get the best experts at an acceptable cost."

Mramor moreover commented on recent reports of irregularities in the 2013 and 2014 bank restructuring. He believes all doubts should be eliminated.

"I am against a forensic revision but I am fond of the idea of an investigation looking into the compliance of procedures....because asset evaluation performed today will not be the same as those performed a year or two years ago. And with three appraisers we will not get a single result but three."


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