It is now one hundred days since the stand-alone government of Robert Fico took power on 4 April after its landslide victory in the March elections, so some will be celebrating and some maybe not.
Unfortunately, the so-called consolidation package that Fico’s cabinet adopted has had quite an impact already, with 22 measures adopted on the revenues side and just 1 measure dealing with expenditures. In addition to raising various forms of taxes, slicing away at pensions, banning health insurers from making profit, replacing the heads of almost every public organisation, and slapping special levies on banks, energy companies, mobile operators and other utilities, what else has been done? Well, some of the good points include the abolition of MP immunity, a possible change in penalties for marijuana use making it an offence instead of a crime, and .. for sure there are more.
The full impact of the government measures aimed at generating hundreds of millions of euros extra to get the state deficit down will only start to reflect in the life of people after some time, but the effects could be adverse, as the consolidation package will hit hardest on the middle class, which has already been struggling in the wake of the global economic crisis. The rich will become ever so slightly less rich, the poor might get a better deal (probably not as prices can expect to start hiking up thanks to the new tax burdens), while the middle class will see their available income drop.
When queried by Pravda daily about whether he thought maybe his government was too one-sided in its consolidation package, based almost solely on generating additional revenues but with no cuts, PM Fico argued that nobody has been able to show him where cuts could be made. As an argument, he told the daily that there was no way to cut the already low wages of people in state administration. The path to real savings, though, is to increase the efficiency of state administration, something the PM said interior minister Robert Kalinak is working on at present.
If he cut the expenditures made/planned by the previous government, he would be criticized for changing everything.
first cut down state corruption. that would save at least 10 -15% of the state budget.
Jaro – more like 25 -30%!
Show me one example of when a country needs to reduce it’s deficit, where a middle class are not the ones who pay. It’s categorically inevitable.
Donal – Very, very true! Hitting the middle-classes is the MO of all political parties, irrespective of colour. Unfortunately it is easier here because that particular group are the most apathetic.
” already low wages of people in state administration” – Please tell me this was an error by BnM. Most state employees, besides having a non-job for life, are paid far more than they are worth and a damn sight more than non-state workers, often doing the same type of work. They have no pressure at work, particularly in the area of personal or group responsibility for what they do or, more often, don’t do. BnM should pay a visit to a local council “surgery” where he will see legions of ordinary residents whos’common purpose is to complain about the lack of action, decision making, law enforcement, consultation etc, of the local authority, much of which is just arogantly ignored. Maybe he should pop into the local regional business registry and see first hand the lack of actual work done or experience trying to get information from the EU funded Regional Business Development office. We have Mess aka Police who can’t or won’t do any work and apparently are not allowed out after their tea, building and planning staff who inspect buildings while sat on their arses in their offices, ministry staff who work only 36 weeks a year, every year and then for less than 3 hours a day. I could go on and on.
Real savings? – start by getting rid of all of the dead wood, deadheads and non-jobs in local and national govt. posts not by protecting or knitting more jobs for the incompetent and lazy.
Some really good points Dave but do you think that the local govt and national govt would get rid of the deadwood, deadheads and others? Most of them would be family members or close friends LOL
So not much has happened two good points listed. Companies taxed more the rich and the middle class hit hard and the working class staying the same but its only been 100 days. Lets see what happens in the next 100 days?