CERTAIN measures from the Smer-sponsored package aimed at boosting living standards unveiled by the governing party on June 28 could be of benefit to the business environment in Slovakia, the Association of Employers Unions (AZZZ) executive director Branislav Masár told the TASR newsire.

The package of 15 measures presented by Prime Minister Robert Fico at the party’s congress includes, for example, minimum wage hikes, reductions in payroll deductions for low-income employees, lower energy prices, higher Christmas bonuses for pensioners and free rail transport for students and the elderly.

Turning to individual measures, the AZZZ presumes that reducing levies for employees with low and middle incomes is a potentially effective step.

“Nevertheless, we hope that this won’t be compensated for by increases in the levies for other groups of employees, or tax hikes for legal entities,” said Masár, as quoted by TASR.

The AZZZ also welcomes the plan to allow people to draw salaries and subsistence allowance simultaneously on a temporary basis. This could help people who have been jobless for a long period of time find employment.

In addition, the governing Smer is also considering expanding the range of exemptions for payroll deductions applying to work according to agreements for students. The AZZZ observes in this respect that there is still enough room to expand such exemptions, potentially raising the ceiling below which salaries should be exempted from paying levies to the level of the minimum wage.

Smer has also pledged to pay more attention to support for vocational education and related training. The association believes that broader reform within the education system is essential in order to achieve this. This would include transforming vocational education, alterations to the system of funding the system and boosting the quality of university education.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.