Lithuania improves its ranking from the 21st to 16th in the Heritage Foundation’s 2020 Index of Economic Freedom. The country has regained its position from 2016 after four years of backsliding, the index shows.
With the parliamentary elections approaching, Slovakia is facing an unprecedented situation of uncertainty. The elections are held after four challenging years, marked by the murder of the journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, and number of subsequent anti-government protests.
Family Protection Action Plan, which bears all the hallmarks of an authoritarian staple, is dehumanizing, pits demographic groups against each other and distorts the markets. It also creates a distraction for the citizens and puts the opposition in a corner where their only option is a bidding war.
The introduction of the controversial 500+ program in Poland has so far resulted in no increase in fertility rate. Noteworthy, 12% of the program budget would be sufficient to eliminate extreme child poverty. Meanwhile, 100,000 women were pushed out of the labor market.
On May 11, Lithuania celebrated its second National Respect for Taxpayers Day. This day became an official commemorative day in Lithuania following the adoption of a proposal from the Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI) in early 2018.
In the beginning of 2019, the governmental Institute of Financial Policy (IFP) came with the issue of tax on sugar. However, we believe that in this case once again, the tax discussion precedes the discussion about the core problem – obesity. Therefore, INESS prepared a new publication entitled “Bitter Tax on Sugar”.
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.
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.
The study presents different models which take into account the consequences for the individual, the state budget, and the labor market. The suggested reform variants make it a significantly more attractive option for Hartz IV recipients to work more, by raising income retention by up to 40 percent.