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IN SHORT

Smer reverses course on tax for rich

THE SMER social-democratic opposition party has been sending mixed signals on who will be required to pay higher income taxes if the party forms part of the next government.

Smer has long advertised its plans to abolish the 19-percent flat tax introduced by the current Mikuláš Dzurinda administration and to impose a 25-percent tax on people with "high salaries". However, while Smer's Igor Šulaj says the higher tax would be imposed on those who earn in excess of Sk1 million (€30,000) per year, the party's Robert Kaliňák recently said the limit should be Sk600,000.

The lower limit would affect around 40,000 taxpayers.

Economist Pavel Karász believes that Smer's changing opinions are proof that the party is only using the 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 abolish the flat tax, as most of the country's political parties support it.

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