Bloomberg News

Slovak Cabinet Pledges to Cut Deficit With Higher Taxes for Rich

April 27, 2012

Slovakia’s new government, led by Robert Fico, approved its program for the four-year term that seeks to cut budget deficit by taxing the rich while improving the living standards of the country’s poorest citizens.

The administration, which assumed power three weeks ago, will stick to the target of reducing the budget gap below the European Union’s limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, according to the program approved by ministers today in the capital Bratislava, and posted on its website. The government will use fiscal measures that won’t hurt economic growth, the document said.

Fico’s Smer party won a majority in March 10 elections after pledging to reduce the effects of an economic slowdown on the poor at a time when the country faces a need for austerity to insulate itself from the Europe’s debt crisis. The 2012 budget target of 4.6 percent of GDP is at risk as Slovakia will be hurt by vanning demand from western Europe, Fico has said.

His single-party Cabinet, which will ask for parliament’s confidence at a May 2 session, also pledged to dismantle a current system of a flat 19 percent income tax by imposing higher rates for most profitable companies and top earners.

The administration will also review a possibility of increasing the special tax on banks and implementing a levy on financial transactions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Radoslav Tomek in Bratislava at rtomek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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