Janša Discusses Tax Changes, Media Financing

By , 27 May 2020, 09:19 AM Politics
Prime Minister Janez Janša Prime Minister Janez Janša Screenshot from the television interview in question

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STA, 26 May 2020 - Prime Minister Janez Janša announced potential changes to tax legislation and media funding as he gave a weekly interview with Nova24TV, a broadcaster he has co-founded, on Monday evening. The group advising the government led by tax expert Ivan Simič will examine the possibilities for changes to the tax policy, he said.

"But some fast tax cuts could not be expected in this situation," he said, noting that due to the financial crisis ten years ago, the VAT had been raised.

He would also support an idea for every taxpayer to be able to earmark more than the current 0.5% of their income tax to an organisation to their liking.

"We'll be looking for a solution in this direction. First proposals can be expected by the end of the year," he announced.

Asked what the government could do about the compulsory payment of licence fee for public broadcaster RTV Slovenija, Janša said the Culture Ministry is already "working on some legislative changes".

"The least that could be done is distribute this enormous amount of money in a more just way."

He indicated that the public broadcaster could do "a much better job with considerably less money".

Janša also commented on a controversy about the police having accessed personal data of coalition politicians under the Marjan Šarec government to discredit them.

He said somebody had accessed the personal data of then leader of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) Karl Erjavec and of Modern Centre Party (SMC) leader Zdravko Počivalšek.

The order came from the then interior minister, said Janša, announcing that "it will be checked what had actually happened".

Boštjan Poklukar from the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), which led the government, was interior minister at the time.

Janša also discussed the previous government's action or inaction in taking the necessary measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

He said he would release his correspondence with former Health Minster Aleš Šabeder when the time came and if Šabeder agreed to it, indicating former Prime Minister Marjan Šarec had prevented the minister from taking action faster.

"So that people see what was going on and what the former prime minister was actually doing when he should have acted responsibly and take certain measures," Janša said.

Responding to the statement for TV Slovenija on Tuesday, Šarec's LMŠ labelled it fake news and Šabeder toned it down, with the public broadcaster saying he did not want to meddle in the Janša-Šarec dispute.

"We see the claim that Marjan Šarec tried to prevent anything to the former health minister as yet another case of fake news by Janez Janša and Nova24," the LMŠ wrote.

Šabeder meanwhile wrote it had been necessary and fair to promptly brief the new government, which was taking over during such an emergency, on the number of infected persons and on other vital developments and to coordinate the measures.

"This is also the main content of these messages," said Šabeder, adding that the situation had been very much war-like. He also said it had become clear that his team at the ministry had worked in the right direction, while the situation had been changing from minute to minute.

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