Measures to help businesses discussed at AmCham event

Ljubljana – Businesses expect the new government to nurture dialogue and create encouraging business environment, but political parties running in the election have different views on how that should be achieved. Still, the nine parties participating in a debate hosted by AmCham today agreed on the need for digitalisation and de-bureaucratisation.

The debate hosted by AmCham, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) and the Managers’ Association, featured nine parties that have the best chances of entering parliament based on public opinion polls.

GZS head Tibor Šimonka said the changes to the income tax act were a step towards better competitiveness but that a social cap would be needed if Slovenia was to see a development breakthrough.

Andrej Božič from the Managers’ Association said they would keep an eye on corporate management. “Politics will of course continue to meddle in strategic decisions, but this ends with the appointment of supervisory boards.”

AmCham Slovenija head Blaž Brodnjak called for a “qualified and committed government with a strong mandate” and not “yet another ideological coalition”.

Andrej Šircelj from the ruling Democrats (SDS) said the current government had proposed a social cap but there was not sufficient support for the proposal in parliament at the time. He said it would be proposed again in the next term and Simon Zajc from the Connecting Slovenian movement upheld this.

Aleksandra Pivec from Our Land agreed this would create additional motivation, prevent brain drain and maybe even encourage talents to return to Slovenia from other countries.

Meanwhile, Luka Mesec from the Left expressed strong opposition to this, while Dimitrij Zadel from the Freedom Movement said the sustainability of public finances should also be taken into account.

Angelika Mlinar from the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and Igor Peček from the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) echoed this. Peček admitted though that a social cap would raise competitiveness.

Matej Tonin from New Slovenia (NSi) said this was the only way to keep competent people in the country, while Sandi Češko from the Social Democrats (SD) believes talented people will stay in the country only if they will feel good here and if there will be solidarity.

The parties were more united when it comes to the need for digitalisation and cutting the red tape.

But Mesec warned that de-bureaucratisation could be used as a pretence for cutting workers’ rights or decreasing environmental standards.

The parties also stressed the need for a pension reform, with business representatives calling for measures allowing people to stay active longer and enter the labour market sooner.

Mesec warned of the large number of precarious workers who do not contribute to the pension purse as much as those who have regular employment.

Zajc, Zadel and Tonin said employees should be allowed to continue working after retirement if they wished.