Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Cabinet to discuss 2007 budget today

THE CABINET of Prime Minister Robert Fico meets today to discuss next year’s state budget, but already there are signs it may not include some of the key promises that Fico’s socialist Smer party made before June elections to raise tax rates for wealthy individuals and corporations, or to split the unified VAT rate.

The state budget draft, a copy of which is available at www.vlada.gov.sk, proposes revenues of Sk310 billion and expenditures of Sk346 billion for a deficit of Sk36 billion, or about 3 percent of GDP, which would be in line with the Maastricht economic criteria that Slovakia must fulfill if it is to adopt the euro as planned on January 1, 2009.

“The first version of the budget indicates that the government stands by its intention to fulfill the Maastricht criteria in the budget and keep the deficit under 3 percent of GDP,” said Radovan Ďuran, an analyst with the Institute for Economic and Social Studies.

The draft budget, which is likely to go through many rounds of debate and revision before it is submitted to parliament by September 22, does not take into account the government’s proposed lower VAT rate or higher tax on select individuals and corporates, writes the Sme daily.

Analysts pointed out that this was likely less a sign that the cabinet was backing away from its intentions than a reflection of the fact that the laws needed for the tax changes have not yet been passed by parliament.

The cabinet is scheduled today to vote only on the amount of the budget deficit.

Top stories

Slow down, fashion

Most people are unaware that buying too many clothes too harms the environment.

In shallow waters, experts are expendable

Mihál says that it is Sulík, the man whom his political opponents mocked for having a calculator for a brain, who “is pulling the party out of liberal waters and towards somewhere completely different”.

Richard Sulík is a man of slang.

Poll: Smer followed by SaS, KDH also in parliament

Had the general election taken place in mid-February, the opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) would place second, and the now extra-parliamentary KDH would get nine seats.

Alojz Hlina took over at the helm of KDH

Woman who urinated on the Quran arrested, awaiting trial

Some observers believe the video might lead to increasing security risks for Slovakia.

The accused woman arrives to the court.