The Slovenia Times

Conference Calls for Jobs, Favourable Business Environment


Pahor stressed in his address that structural reforms were often being associated with austerity measures, which creates the impression that they would undermine the welfare state.

The aim of today's event, another in a series of Slovenia 2030 conferences, is to find out which areas need changes that would help maintain the welfare state, he said.

Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Minister Anja Kopač Mrak agreed that social policies must be adjusted to the social and economic changes.

She stressed that the government would try to optimize labour costs and focus on tax reform. Slovenia needs a new system of insurance, while people will have to stay in employment for longer, she said, adding that the state would have to cooperate more with NGOs in the future.

Economist Rado Pezdir sees two major problems of Slovenia's labour market - low employment rate and a trend of growing long-term unemployment.

He believes the country is in a dire need of foreign capital, but people oppose foreign investments. Consequently, there is not enough jobs, so soon the state will have no more money for social transfers, he warned.

Human Rights Ombudsman Vlasta Nussdorfer agreed that "people want work rather than charity". She pointed to the issues of people in precarious forms of employment who do not get paid for their work and to the unequal distribution of tax burdens.

Sociologist Martina Trbanc underlined the importance of an active social policy. She advocates a redefinition and redistribution of labour. She believes working hours should be more flexible, informal work should count as regular work and balancing of work and family life should be made easier.

Sociologist Valerija Korošec believes Slovenia's current system of welfare is not working, so universal basic income should be introduced in Slovenia, especially for children.


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