Several East European countries have been flirting with various forms of a “retailer tax”. A tax similar (but not equal) to VAT, or the sales tax. Its proclaimed aim is typically to “punish” international retail chains, which have been repeatedly blamed for problems of local farmers and local food and beverages industry.
Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS) has been organizing Free Market Road Show for a few years now. This year, the 11th conference to be held in Bratislava hosted discussions that tackled multiple economic issues as well as their possible solutions.
Slovakia has managed to muster a constitutional majority passing a bill that would have a detrimental effect on the stability of the Slovak public finances in the long run. The measure is the constitutional limit of the retirement age now set at 64 for men and 63 for women (with two kids).
The ruling politicians are unfortunately going in the opposite direction. While a person working for a minimum wage in 2015 paid 29% in taxes and levies, with the planned minimum wage, they will pay more than 40% next year.
It was late 2018, when the Slovak government approved the free lunch program for all children attending elementary schools. The supporting argument was that this measure is outreaching to poor kids who had not been targeted by previous lunch subsidies.
Although we must admit the existence of inequality, why do we get so irritated by it? What is that 16-year-old missing to understand? It is the knowledge that inequality isn’t caused by someone biting a bigger chunk off a single global pie.
The Slovak government’s intention is to lower the market power of large international retail chains. Unfortunately, the alleged problems are mostly made-up. Instead, the “retail chain tax” may end up raising the food prices and wrecking havoc in Slovak retail.
The history of ship navigation on the shores of England shows us that when explaining events we need to take a look not only on the market failures, but also on the state failures. These played a bigger role than the textbooks’ authors might expect.
Bureaucracy Index was introduced in Slovakia in 2016 by Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS) to emphasize the amount of red tape a small entrepreneur has to overcome on a daily basis. It is based on a straightforward methodology, using an analysis of a model company.