Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Opposition calls for tax sovereignty

THE POLITICAL opposition is calling for parliament to declare sovereignty on tax issues within the European Union, and wants the legislature to bind Slovak EU representatives to vote in line with this principle in Brussels.

The call is being led by the Christian Democrats (KDH), and has been supported by the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK). The largest opposition grouping, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), has so far not discussed the proposal, but in the past has been in favour of tax sovereignty.

“Governments in Slovakia may change, with one bringing in a higher tax and the next a lower one, but the matter remains in Slovak hands to decide. Once the power to decide on the level of taxes is handed over to the European Union, it will never be given back,” said Vladimír Palko, an MP for the KDH.

The opposition call is unlikely to be supported by the ruling coalition, however, with Smer party vice chairman Dušan Čaplovič regarding it as an anti-EU measure. “I don’t know another EU country that has made such an individual declaration,” he said for the Sme daily. “If we do that, why did we join the EU in the first place?”

The issue of tax harmonization in the EU is a controversial one, with many multinationals in favour of a unified system to reduce the complexity of doing business in different countries, but at the same time favouring individually set rates to allow low-tax countries such as Slovakia to retain their tax advantages over high-tax countries like Germany and France.

Some 20 European countries are in favour of a unified corporate tax base in the EU, according to the European Commission, while four are against – Slovakia, Estonia, Ireland and Great Britain.

While the Union requires unanimous support for tax changes to be made, it is also possible for sub-groups of at least 8 members to agree on a common policy.

Top stories

Námestie Slobody gets facelift Photo

The architectural tender will gather ideas for the redesign of the biggest square in Bratislava

Námestie Slobody will be redesigned into a kind of living room in the city.

When the state can’t keep a secret

A selective leak has tarnished President Kiska’s reputation. But he must continue to speak out about corruption.

President Andrej Kiska

Fundamental values explored at Divadelná Nitra 2017

This time round, the Slovak, European and US ensembles at the theatre festival focus on #fundamentals, i.e. basic values and the essence of all things.

Nature Theatre of Oklahoma: Pursuit of Happiness

Foreign rocket engines for North Korea: Why?

For Russia, the path to a weakened China could be through a major nuclear accident in North Korea.