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Finance Minister defends tax reform

SLOVAK Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová and the current minister Ivan Mikloš have again expressed very different opinions about the economy, the daily SME reported.

Schmögnerová, who currently works as the vice-president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said at a Central European Initiative (CEI) economic forum in Bratislava that the flat tax contributes to a considerable growth in the gap between rich and poor, and to social inequality.

"The most frequent argument is that the tax reform results in GDP growth, a decrease in poverty, and a rise in living standards. Unfortunately, this is not the case," said Schmögnerová.

Minister Mikloš insisted, however, that the tax reform in Slovakia has not negatively influenced low-income groups.

"An analysis disproved statements that the flat tax is only advantageous for the rich and damages the poor," said the Finance Ministry in an official statement.

"Cancelling the reforms, or revising them, as proposed by [opposition Smer party chairman Robert] Fico or Mrs. Schmögnerová would threaten the growth of employment and the living standards," said the ministry's spokesman Peter Papanek.

Interestingly, Papanek also worked as the ministerial spokesman under Schmögnerová, when he defended her policies, wrote the daily.

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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