Ukraine has been going through ambitious structural reforms aimed to strengthen its democratic institutions and human rights protection, impose rule of law, and develop modern market-oriented economy. Customs reform is among key reforms in Ukrainian policy agenda in 2019.
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).
100 years ago, Poland regained independence, but its economic success started only 30 years ago. Neither the Second Polish Republic after World War I, nor the socialist People’s Republic of Poland after World War II managed to significantly increase standard of living compared to the USA.
Estonia became a rapidly developing, open, and Western-minded Nordic country. The e-government model and the digital society of Estonia are also an example for many developed countries in the West nowadays.
The current legal system governing the interface between business and state administration is far too complicated, and interpretation of the law often depends on individual decisions of the tax authorities and courts. In order to function in this thicket of regulations, highly paid advisors are needed.
Previous tax cuts released 1% of GDP worth value to taxpayers’ pockets, followed by ongoing red tape cuts and market deregulations. These moderately intensive reform trends have created a methodologically based contribution for slight increase of economic freedom.
By April 1, state officials and certain other individuals were required to submit 2017 property and income e-declarations. While many people criticized the new requirement for the anti-corruption activists to submit e-declarations, members of supervisory boards at SOEs were also required to submit such declarations in 2018.
Paying the advanced tax in Slovakia is a bureaucratic burden, since an entrepreneur has to take care of the regular payments. But there is a bigger problem. An entrepreneur has to pay the advanced tax from her/his current income – but the payment size is set according to her/his last year’s tax.
The year 2017 brought wins and failures. The Ukrainian Government was able to approve important reforms, which was still not sufficient to receive scheduled assistance from the IMF and the EU. 2018 will be tough as Ukraine should make large progress in many areas, while the 2019 elections are approaching.