Mladina: Proposed tax reform would mainly benefit the rich
STA, 1 March 2019 - The latest editorial of the left-leaning weekly Mladina tears apart the Finance Ministry's tax reform proposal as yet another taxation tweak to primarily benefits the rich.
Only two years have passed since the last changes that brought the biggest tax burden reduction and greatest gains for those who already have high wages.
While Prime Minister Marjan Šarec now stands to gain almost EUR 1,000 a year, his predecessor Miro Carar saw his wage rise by EUR 2,000 net at the annual level or to EUR 3,457 net a month, effective on 1 January 2017.
The argument keeps repeating - "we are doing this because of those who are the most productive", editor-in-chief Grega Repovž says, labelling this as despicable deceit by those working for the benefit of their own class.
It is true that high wages are taxed more in Slovenia, but on the other hand property is not subject to any serious taxation and the bulk of the income of the wealthiest stems from property.
Meanwhile, the taxation of the average wages of those in whose name the wealthiest would get even more after this reform is comparable to that in similar countries in Europe and is for instance lower than in Austria, Repovž says in the editorial entitled New Tax Cuts for the Rich.
At the same, the government is shying away from a real estate tax or from heavier taxation of those letting out several apartments, while it has also avoided reforming the compulsory health insurance system that continues to channel large sums of public money to private insurers.
This is an arrogant and offensive tax reform proposal that benefits the wealthy and should be withdrawn, Repovž says, adding PM Šarec dismissed the wrong minister this week.
Demokracija: Why does media ignore warnings on government spending?
STA, 28 February 2019 - In its latest commentary, the right-leaning weekly Demokracija is flabbergasted by the fact that a majority of the Slovenian media dedicated almost no attention to the warnings from the Fiscal Council that the general government expenditure planned for 2019 should be EUR 270m lower.
The warning about the need for the country to preserve a structural balance in compliance with the fiscal rule was buried quickly, ending up somewhere "on the dark side of the internet", editor-in-chief Jože Biščak says.
Is the expansive fiscal policy, which could cause a headache in the autumn, really a marginal topic, he wonders. It obviously is, as the media are busy "inflating the popularity of the prime minister," he adds in the commentary entitled It's Good to Be Marjan Šarec.
Šarec is really happy because, as the global economic situation is getting increasingly unpredictable, and forecasts more pessimistic than optimistic, the media do not bother him with questions about what to do if the economic growth happens to be lower than expected.
The fear of the 2008 crisis repeating has made the smart countries (Germany, Norway) start accumulating surpluses and creating reserves, while others are reducing general government debt (Estonia, the Czech Republic).
The only solution for the Slovenian government, if it wants to keep the public sector in the current size and meet the obligations given to the sector "either blindfolded or drunk on power", will be to increase the already high taxes.
The problem is not in taxes themselves, but what you get in return. According to an analysis by the Quality of Government Institute, Slovenia belongs to the countries which spend much, while giving back little to the citizens.
All our posts in this series can be found here