Economists: New Finance Minister to Find Himself in Tough Position

20. marca 2020 21:05
Bratislava, March 20 (TASR) - New Finance Minister Eduard Heger (OLaNO) will face a difficult task of seeking resources to soften the blow that the new coronavirus has posed to the Slovak economy while also having to scrunch down the growing deficit, a task which is likely to call for austerity measures, TASR was told by economists on Friday. The warning note is sounded also by the Council for Budgetary Responsibility (RRZ). "The new minister will find himself in a daunting situation and it's going to be up to other Government members and Parliament to make life easier for him," thinks analyst of the Institute for Economic and Public Analysis Radovan Durana. The economists also criticise the outgoing Government for its failure to use the previous years of abudance to create reserves for rougher times ahead. "Because of this, public finances offer only limited options for cushioning the impacts of the crisis. Either the relief "package" will be too small or, contrariwise, overburden public finances. Luckily, we're members of the European Union. Hence, the European funds might help as much as an accommodating approach by banks, which have been aided significantly by the European Central Bank," said INEKO director Peter Golias. Golias suggests that the Finance Ministry should institute tax and levy relief for businesses, arrange special loans for firms, scrap the 13th pension paid across-the-board, cut and slash red tape and regulation, streamline construction proceedings, abolish sector taxes, improve non-transparent selection proceedings for managers in public enterprises and communication with authorities. mf/bub
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