SaS: Some Government Measures to Improve Business Can actually Harm It

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Sas on government measures to improve business environment (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 5 (TASR) – It’s high time to improve the business environment, stated Opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) leader Richard Sulik at a news conference in Bratislava on Friday, praising the fact that the Government has realised the need for such steps.

However, it’s the Smer-SD governments that have been devastating the business environment for a long time, stated Sulik, adding that the measures recently presented by the Government lack consistency, are empty of ideas and some of them can even damage the business environment.
“The Government does not know what it wants to do. They don’t have a clear idea for it,” stressed Sulik. He gave as an example the mandatory health service for employers that was introduced during Robert Fico’s first government. “We said already at that time that this step was bad, that it would damage the business environment. When SaS formed a part of the government, it managed to cancel the occupational health service,” said Sulik.

However, Smer-SD reintroduced it in 2012 when it got in power again. The liberals subsequently strove to scrap it with a draft law; however, their intention failed to make it through. And now, surprisingly, one of their proposals is to cancel the occupational health service,” added Sulik. The measure is part of the package of 34 measures to improve the business environment that was introduced by the Economy Ministry earlier this week.

The liberals divided measures presented by the Government or governing parties into three groups. The first group includes measures that the Government has taken over from SaS. The liberals introduced them within their 2020 Agenda last year, said Sulik. “We will, naturally, support our proposals, even if they are proposed by Smer-SD,” assured Sulik.

The second group includes proposals of the “world peace” category. As an example Sulik gave the measure regarding the professionalisation of conduct in state administration. “Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) has been striving for six years [to do this], but he has not managed to professionalise so much. However, it has cost tens or maybe hundreds of millions of euros,” stated the SaS leader.

The third group of proposals are stupid or harmful things. “This is where we are actually afraid it might damage the business environment,” said Sulik. He included the mandatory thirteenth salary here. “Introducing the thirteenth salary – I don’t know how somebody could come to the idea of making this compulsory. Then we can introduce a ban on inflation or unemployment with a law. A market economy does not work like this,” said Sulik.

Another proposal from this group is increasing the minimum wage to above €500 monthly, said Sulik. He also criticised the intention to increase a super-deduction for expenditures on research and development. He lacks an analyses on how firms are currently using this possibility.

Therefore, Sulik hopes that if the Government is going to improve the business environment, it will read the 2020 Agenda and take over as many proposals as possible from it.