Voice-SD Calls on Government to Cut VAT on Food and Gastronomy Sector

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Voice-SD leader Peter Pellegrini (photo by TASR)

Kosice, January 28 (TASR) – The extra-parliamentary Voice-SD party is once again calling on the Government to reduce the value-added tax (VAT) on food and the gastronomy sector, otherwise it will face a threat of an inflationary spiral and further rapid growth in prices.

“If the Government fails to adopt crucial measures to curb the price growth, we will witness a spiral that will lead to pressure to increase people’s salaries so that they are able to pay these prices, which will subsequently invoke increased costs for entrepreneurs, who will reflect them in further price increases,” Voice-SD leader Peter Pellegrini told journalists on Friday. According to him, party officials met representatives of the gastronomy sector and primary food producers who were affected by a huge growth in the prices of energy, fuel and other commodities.

“While countries like Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, as well as other European countries are adopting major anti-inflation packages to mitigate price growth and so prevent an economic downturn for people, Slovakia has done nothing about it,” stated the ex-premier. There’s a threat of Slovaks making shopping trips to nearby countries with the state and domestic producers paying for it in a final consequence, said Pellegrini.

Pellegrini has called on the governing coalition to support the proposal by Independent MPs belonging to Voice-SD to cut VAT for the gastronomy sector to 5 percent until the end of the year and to 10 percent as of 2023. “If you don’t want to back it, because it has been prepared by Voice-SD, submit your own plan,” suggested Pellegrini.

Finance Minister Igor Matovic (OLNO) following the Cabinet session on Wednesday (January 26) said that the reduction of VAT on food would cause a shortfall in the state budget amounting to €150-200 million. He stressed that VAT is a key tax for the public finance. Matovic also pointed to the government resolution from October 2020, saying that if any minister produces a proposal to distribute something, he must at the same time come up with a proposal on “whom to take this money from”.