"Slovenia Has an Expensive, but Poorly Paid Workforce"

AmCham Business Breakfast: Which Political Party Has the Best Program?
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Representatives of political parties that opinion polls project will be elected to parliament in the upcoming election presented at a business breakfast hosted by AmCham Slovenia on Wednesday their programmes and vision in tax policy, health and pension reforms, education, development and human resources.

As they tackled the question of how to increase foreign investments in Slovenia, a majority of the participants pointed to the need to make tax policy changes, as wages are too burdened by taxes.

Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) deputy Julijana Bizjak Mlakar said that other kinds of revenue should be taxed more, while Kamnik Mayor Marjan Šarec wants to eliminate administrative obstacles to make Slovenia a more stable economy. Opposition New Slovenia (NSi) acting president Matej Tonin believes that the general tax credit should be raised, while opposition Democrats (SDS) deputy Andrej Šircelj proposed lower tax rates, more income tax brackets and a cap on social security contributions by employers.

Aleksandar Kešeljević of the programming council of the senior coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC) meanwhile listed successes of the outgoing government, while regretting that the coalition did not have the will to abolish the 50% income tax bracket. Turning to education, Bizjak Mlakar said that an environment should be created that would better detect talent, while Šarec said that the school environment needed to be stable and that teachers should be better appreciated.

Coalition Social Democrats (SD) deputy group head Matjaž Han said that more emphasis should be put on practical training, with Tonin adding that apprenticeship should be introduced in the school system. Šircelj believes that funds should be invested in education for shortage occupations and that secondary schools should be specialised, while Kešeljević would strengthen the programme for research fellows in business.

A majority of the debaters called for a more flexible labour market, with Tonin proposing a system under which one of ten employees could be dismissed without a particular reason. Han was critical of the fact that precarious work has "grown to immeasurable proportions", and Bizjak Mlakar advocated flexicurity of the labour market.

The discussion about healthcare and pensions saw the SDS and NSi propose more competition among compulsory health insurers, with Tonin stressing that "money should follow the patient", and Šircelj calling for liberalisation of concessions. Bizjak Mlakar called for better supervision of spending of public funds for healthcare, while Šarec said that efficient management should be appointed in hospitals and that a central registry of waiting lines should be established.

Turning to pension reform, Šircelj and Tonin called for higher birth rate, while the SMC would create incentives which would encourage people to work longer, and called for a demographic fund to be created. Han believes that the existing pension system should be trusted, while Bizjak Mlakar stressed that DeSUS would make its participation in a new coalition conditional on the commitment to create a demographic fund.

More on our Slovenian site HERE.

We live stream all our AmCham Business Breakfasts, you can find the whole video HERE. 

You can see the photos of the event at our Facebook page.

Source: STA