The cost of the state’s family policy reached PLN 70 billion in 2020. By comparison, spending on countering the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigating the effects of the economic lockdown amounted to PLN 103 billion, and spending on defense amounted to PLN 42 billion.
The COVID-19 pandemic was accompanied by unprecedented state interventions – from restrictions on basic individual freedoms to significant increases in public spending, among others, to compensate companies for the effects of the shutdown.
Within the framework of the “Polish Deal”, PiS is raising the tax burden on income from rental housing drastically and without a transition period. In this way, the government wants to slow down the growth of property prices and, at the same time, increase budget revenues. This is a wrong direction.
Freedom, private property, competition, and the rule of law proved to be more successful than an all-controlling bureaucracy. In a way, the division of Germany constituted a large-scale real-world test for the long-term effects of free markets vs. a centrally planned economy.
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.
The cost of emissions reductions over the last two decades in the EU has been significant. In Slovakia alone, people pay hundreds of millions of euros a year to support renewable energy sources, with millions more going on insulation and boiler subsidies, or the development of electromobility. A significant part of the cost is hidden in higher prices for goods, as manufacturers have to buy emission allowances.
If we want to start talking about next year’s minimum wage increase, we first need to look to the past. As we all know, 2020 was the year of the pandemic, and that brought with it, among other things, a significant downturn in the economy, and with it a fall in labor productivity. The private sector responded logically by reducing the growth in average wages. But not all businesses had this option.
The football season in Bulgaria has begun, and with it, a new contract for television rights has entered into force. The contract is for five seasons (until 2026), and the clubs, as announced by the Bulgarian Football Union (BFS) last year, will BGN earn 6.5 million each season. UEFA reports show that about 7% of the income of the First League teams in Bulgaria comes from television rights.
There is nothing better than a press conference of a minister announcing a new investor who has chosen Bulgaria for their new investment venture. This is also the dream of every mayor, although mayors do not have much to offer to potential investors. Ministers have the arsenal of the State budget at their disposal. Thus, they can use taxpayer money to offer incentives for companies and offer resultant advantages to a selected sector or region.
Just a few weeks ago IME presented the main challenges to social protection faced by Bulgaria in the post-pandemic period. One of the key takeaways was that Bulgarian social policy is unfocused, ineffective and that it flat out fails to address poverty and inequality. While such issues are mainly solved through economic recovery, new jobs and wage growth, the role of social policy should be focused as much as possible on those most in need.