Bonds should be issued to support post-flood reconstruction, Finance says

Ljubljana, 29 August - The business newspaper Finance criticises the government's decision to introduce a floods tax disguised as a solidarity contribution in its commentary on Tuesday. It says that, to finance the expensive post-flood reconstruction, it should rather issue a bond where people who would buy it would eventually benefit from the interest rate.

Solidarity is Prime Minster Robert Golob's most favourite new word, while reforms the government announced for 2023 have been sidelined. "Healthcare, pensions, long-term care ... we haven't heard anything about them for a while."

The paper says that solidarity is good and that Slovenians showed lots of it when the floods hit in early August, and the government is now introducing a solidarity contribution, which is how it termed a new tax that will be paid by employees and employers.

The flood tax is not very high and will thus not affect the people's standard of living, "but that's not the point". If people were invited to pay a voluntary contribution, they would gladly do so, and it is possible that more would be collected than with the new tax, and it would be "true solidarity" too.

The post-flood reconstruction will cost much more than the involuntary tax will bring in, so "why not borrow money from citizens by issuing bonds? Would that not be fairer to the people? And would not the growth in GDP and thus higher tax revenue also justify the payment of interest to the people?"

Finance says the measures taken post-floods are reminiscent of those taken during the Covid epidemic. "There is a new idea every day, but in the end there is only confusion."

Politicians are doing this so that they are not seen as being idle while they give the impression of a headless chicken. Especially Golob seems to be thinking that he has to be involved in solving every single problem, Finance says in Headless Chicken.

With such governance, it is illusionary to expect any serious reflection on the country's strategic goals, such as where it would like to be in ten years or how to create as best conditions for economic growth as possible.

© STA, 2023