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Smer changes direction on tax for rich

THE SMER social-democratic opposition party is producing conflicting statements on who will be required to pay higher income taxes if the party forms part of the next government.

Smer has long said it plans to cancel the flat tax of 19 percent introduced by the current Mikuláš Dzurinda administration, and to introduce a 25 percent tax on people who earn "high salaries". However, while Smer's Igor Šulaj says the higher tax would be imposed on people who earn Sk1 million and more per year, the party's Robert Kaliňák recently said the limit should be Sk600,000.

Should Smer settle for the Sk600,000 cut-off, it would affect people who earn Sk50,000 or more per month in gross wages, the SME daily wrote. There are around 40,000 such people in Slovakia.

Economist Pavel Karász believes that Smer's changing opinions on the tax are proof that the party is only using the tax issue as a populist tool to win support among lower wage earners.

Even if Smer became a member of the next government, it is unclear whether it would be able to cancel the flat tax, as most political parties in Slovakia support the current flat tax.

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

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