Business organisations urge more ambitious debureaucratisation

Ljubljana – Four business chambers or associations associated in an Economic Circle initiative urged the government to be more ambitious in its debureaucratisation drive and lower the planned social security cap, as they presented a number of ideas for a lean state at an online news conference on Wednesday.

Welcoming capping social security contributions to EUR 6,000 gross in monthly pay as the right step, they want a lower cap, at EUR 4,600, which is two average wages.

Should this not be possible now, the government should put it in a law to achieve it gradually in the coming few years.

“This would be a serious commitment … bringing predictability into the drafting of further tax measures,” the group of organisations said in a release.

Economic Circle brings together the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), Manager Association, Slovenian Business Club (SBC) and AmCham Slovenia.

They argue that there will be no added value without quality workers, while measures such as rising the minimum wage are unsustainable without higher added value.

Amcham Slovenia head Blaž Brodnjak said there was a shortage of IT experts, and until the Slovenian education systems is adjusted, development staff needed to be hired abroad.

“Businesses welcome the raise in the minimum wage because we all want to live better. But such raises must be predictable and follow a rise in added value. First we have to create more to be able to share more,” he said, adding that in current conditions, Slovenian firms could not be competitive on the international labour market.

SBC head Jure Knez said there was now enough funds to take a major step forward, referring to EU recovery funds, but said Slovenia’s recovery and resilience plan lacked vision and courage to make the necessary changes.

He also urged debureaucratisation for which legislative changes are not necessary, pointing to companies having to report the same data to various institutions – the Financial Administration, AJPES, Statistics Office and the central bank.

Procedures at support agencies, such as the Environment Agency and the Agency for the Protection of Competition, should also be enhanced, he stressed.

Manager Association head Medeja Lončar said the number of regulations should be reduced, saying “today we have 900 laws and more than 22,000 regulations”, which calls for optimisation. At the same time the country should be less strict and restrictive in transposing EU law.

She also believes that administrative procedures should be faster and less expensive, pointing to procedures to obtain a building permit costing an average 2.7% of an investment’s construction value, as opposed to 1.1% in Austria or Germany.

GZS president Boštjan Gorjup said long-term care should not burden labour costs, companies’ investment into health preventive should be subject to greater tax breaks, and the definition of R&D spending should be expanded.

He also believes that investments should be fully exempt from taxes, procedures for small and medium-sized companies should be streamlined, while the government should channel some funds into enhanced digitalisation of the public and private sectors.