No big reforms. Parties are lukewarm with their promises for businesses

What are parties promising business ahead of elections?

(Source: TASR, Sme)

Which party supports entrepreneurs, and which is proposing to implement plans which would worsen Slovakia’s business environment?

Below we give a brief overview of the manifestos of parties with more than 5 percent support (the threshold to get into parliament) in the most recent poll of voting intention, carried out by the AKO polling agency in early February, and assessments of those manifestos by the Business Alliance of Slovakia (PAS) and Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS).

PAS assessed each party programme on the extent to which it met PAS’s Ten Commandments of Entrepreneurial Demands for Political Parties, which it published in November last year. The Ten Commandments were improved education; getting rid of corruption in the public sector; reducing taxes and levies; cutting red tape in the business sector; making it easier to do business; improve public finances; increase efficiency in the public sector; increase transparency in society; promoting competition; and supporting free movement of goods, services, capital and labour within the EU.

PAS then gave a percentage score for each party – with a higher percentage indicating a more positive evaluation – on how it met its Ten Commandments based on its assessment of the quality of the measures proposed and the chances that they could be implemented.

INESS focuses on five sectors in its analysis of each electoral manifesto: education, tax policy, agriculture, business environment/labour market and health care, marking them on a scale of zero to ten with the highest number indicating a better performance.

Related articleWhat are parties promising ahead of elections? Read more 

PAS and INESS see the manifesto of the opposition Sloboda a Solidarita (SaS) party as the most business-sector friendly, while they said they pointed out they could not assess the election programmes of the ruling Smer and far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) as those parties had not prepared manifestos.

In general, most parties have included some measures which have been discussed publicly for some time already and which require neither dramatic financial nor political costs and are beneficial for the business environment, according to INESS. However, PAS points out that even business-friendly parties have proposed measures which would cost the state millions, but have not provided any realistic explanations of how they would raise the money to fund them.

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