Last July, the European Commission presented a proposal for a directive aimed at reforming the taxation of energy products and electricity. This proposal is part of the European Union’s (EU) efforts to reduce emissions and air pollution.
According to a representative survey commissioned by the economic think-tank INESS, very few Slovaks know what employer levies are paid today, or what their actual amount is.
People will stick with cigarettes, which, although more harmful than the alternative, will bring more taxes into the state coffers. After three years, tobacco tax increases are back on the table. In English, it is known as the “sin tax”. Similar to the tax on alcohol or beer. The public perceives these taxes as a way for consumers of addictive substances to ‘pay’ for their sins. The truth is that smokers pay a lot.
Some respected economists identified the issue of consolidation in public budget already in 2022 as a third-order problem. From an analytical point of view, he is, of course, right. A one-year deficit of 10% of GDP is nothing compared to a permanent two to five per cent deficit in the pension system with a declining workforce.
The financial wealth of Slovaks is calculated in about tens of thousands of euros, as a matter of fact, the wealth of Slovaks lies in the bricks of their houses. A house or a flat is a money-making property only for a very small number of Slovaks. Income from capital will push the inequality rate higher.
The next five years will be crucial. Public finances should come out of huge deficits, and the lesson from the previous crisis is clear. Tax increases will never be temporary. Pulling the tax brake can serve as an additional “austerity” argument in the discussion on lowering the deficit.
The final effect of the carbon tax is determined by the way in which additional resources are handled. Every tax results in reallocation of scarce resources for purposes less desired by consumers. Not only do taxes diminish the utility of a consumer, but they also have a negative impact on economic growth.
Slovak large-scale employers want the highest possible wage compensation, looking up to the German or Austrian Kurzarbeit system, which covers up to 85% of wage costs. Journalists and some economists argue that we should borrow as much as we can.
Over the last decades, the post-socialist bloc countries have seen significant economic growth. The transformation to the market economy gradually yields its fruits, the unemployment rate in each of these countries, now also members of the EU, is lower than the average unemployment rate of the Eurozone.
Automotive industry plays one of the most important roles in economies of the Visegrad Group countries. The sector became the regional leader in export and a reason for close ties among countries. Hyundai Kia in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is a textbook example of how one company ignores artificial national borders.