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Self-employed unhappy with contributions reform

Representatives of the self-employed have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Finance Ministry’s planned changes to the social and health insurance contribution systems.

Representatives of the self-employed have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Finance Ministry’s planned changes to the social and health insurance contribution systems.

The reform planned by the Finance Ministry would hurt the business environment and is not the right recipe for bringing more money into the state budget, Stanislav Čižmárik, president of the Slovak Association of the Self-Employed, said at a press conference on March 14.

Čižmárik criticised Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš' plan to increase the compulsory social and health insurance contributions paid by the self-employed.

"More than 6,000 sole traders closed down business in January and others may follow if these measures are adopted,” said Čižmárik, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “There are other parts of the state budget and contributions system that are more in need of change."

The government claims that the lower rates currently paid by the self-employed are unfair to ordinary employees, but Čižmárik said that the two groups are not comparable since the self-employed bear full responsibility for their business liabilities and have to pay into the insurance systems regardless of whether they are making money or not.

Čižmárik said that the self-employed aren't planning any protests at the moment.

"We aren't about to protest,” he said. “Sole traders make their living by the sweat of their brow; they don't have time to attend rallies."

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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