THE PURCHASES of vehicles by state authorities will be capped at €48,000 without VAT, according to a proposal authored by the Finance Ministry which still needs to get approval from the government.
The limits will apply to state secretaries and the head of the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ), but not to mayors, regional governors or the governor of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), the country’s central bank, the Sme daily reported in its December 9 issue.
The caps will be scaled based on the function of the state employee, from €12,000 to €43,000. The possible limits have been discussed after the government passed the caps on cars for businessmen, though this principle is slightly different and concerns tax write-offs. It works in a way that if the write-off causes the entrepreneur to be in a loss and thus not able to pay tax to the state, the limit is set at €48,000, Sme wrote.
After such changes the opposition started to ask whether there should be any limits on cars for state officials. However, the limits proposed by Finance Minister Peter Kažimír apply only to vehicles bought by budgetary and state-funded organisations. MP Miroslav Beblavý criticises that it does not concern the mayors, regional governors or NBS governor, as reported by Sme.
Such a proposal would not prevent Košice Region Governor Zdenko Trebuľa from buying a limousine worth €130,000 (as was reported by media outlets some time ago).
“I personally disagree with the purchase of such expensive vehicles,” Kažimír said, as quoted by Sme. He however stressed that Trebuľa was directly elected by people “and is responsible for his actions to people and taxpayers”.
Beblavý proposed some weeks ago that there should be a law that would set the cap at €48,000 for all public institutions, but did not succeed with it. He also said that the cap on car purchases was introduced by the first government of Mikuláš Dzurinda (1998-2002). It set the cap at two million Slovak crowns (more than €66,000).
The report by the Transparency International ethics watchdog showed last autumn that the expensive cars are bought in the public administration, with the most expensive of them by people in non-elected functions, Sme wrote.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
9. Dec 2014 at 14:00