Demographic fund in focus as parliament in session

Ljubljana – The National Assembly is meeting for a four-day session on Monday with one of the items on the agenda the controversial bill on the demographic fund.

The session, held in a hybrid form to allow deputies wishing so to participate remotely, will open with the customary questions time featuring PM Janez Janša and members of his government.

Janša will be responding to deputy questions regarding the handling of the coronavirus crisis, measures to help the economy, social dialogue and the media.

The central topic of the session resuming on Tuesday will be the bill on the National Demographic Fund, a new overarching state fund designed to pool all state assets to shore up the pension system.

The fund is to reduce the pressure on public finances by providing extra funds for decent pensions, as well as funds for construction of care homes and for family policy measures.

The fund is to be created through a transformation of Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) and would take control of most of partially or wholly state-owned companies.

The value of the assets it would manage is currently valued at almost EUR 8.6 billion, along with 10% of the proceeds from the sale of state assets since the incorporation of SSH.

The fund is one of the major projects of the Janez Janša government, however, its efforts to reach a consensus on the bill with employers and trade unions have so far been unsuccessful.

Deputies have reserved a total of seven hours for debate on the first reading of the bill.

Expectedly on Thursday, deputies will debate a bill designed to reform the motor vehicles tax where the levy will no longer depend on the retail price of the vehicle but mostly on emissions.

As a result, the tax on most vehicles will be reduced while plug-in vehicles will not be taxed. The extra levy on luxury vehicles, introduced in 2012, would be scrapped.

The legislature will convene another session on Friday to decide on the opposition-sponsored proposal to reform electoral law by scrapping electoral districts and introducing a preferential vote.

The bill was endorsed by the needed two-thirds majority on the committee, but the question is whether it can pass at the plenary, considering the government supports an alternative solution envisaging a re-districting as a way to implement a 2018 Constitutional Court ruling.