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The Government adopts the #antiCorona legislative package

At its 8th regular session, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the text of the Act on the intervention measures to mitigate the consequences of the communicable disease SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) for citizens and the economy and submitted it to the National Assembly for consideration and adoption under an emergency procedure, in accordance with Article 143 of the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly.

It is necessary to mitigate the consequences and reduce the negative effects of the communicable disease SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) epidemic for citizens and the economy. To implement the measures aimed to stem, control and prevent the spread of the epidemic, funds have to be provided immediately, and the Government estimates that all the solutions provided in the act proposal will in total increase state budget expenditure by three billion euros.

The first package of measures is aimed at improving the social position of people. The self-employed who will declare themselves affected by the crisis using a special electronic application will receive EUR 350 for March if they prove that their income has declined by at least 25% compared to February 2020, and will receive EUR 700 for April and May 2020 if they prove that their income has declined by at least 50% compared to February 2020. At the same time, the state will also cover all related social security contributions.

The aid will also be provided to all full-time students residing in the Republic of Slovenia in the form of a one-off crisis allowance amounting to EUR 150, which will be paid by 30 April 2020.   For large families with three children, the act proposal provides an allowance in the amount of EUR 100, and for families with four or more children an allowance in the amount of EUR 200, in addition to the allowance they already receive. Pensioners will be entitled to a one-off solidarity allowance in order to ensure better social security for the most vulnerable pensioners whose pensions are less than EUR 700. The allowance will be paid in three different amounts: EUR 300  for pensions up to EUR 500, EUR 230  for pensions from EUR 501 to EUR 600, and  EUR 130  for pensions from EUR 601 to EUR 700. The allowance will not be counted against the income to determine entitlements from public funds under the act governing social assistance payments, as the basic purpose of the allowance is to improve the social position of beneficiaries. Furthermore, income tax and the health insurance contribution will not be charged on the received solidarity bonus, which will also not be the subject of tax enforcement. Recipients of financial social assistance and income support are also eligible to receive a one-off allowance in the amount of 150 euros.

An allowance for performing hazardous work and for higher workloads during the COVID-19 epidemic is also being introduced. Those employed in the private sector whose gross basic wage is less than three times the Slovenian gross minimum wage and who, due to performing their work during the epidemic, are exposed to health risks more than the average or have higher workloads due to controlling the epidemic may be entitled to a allowance of 200 euros. This new allowance in the private sector will be funded by the employer from the funds relating to the exemption of pension insurance contribution payment.

For the duration of the epidemic, the act sets out a 30% decrease in the basic wage of high officials, i.e. the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Prime Minister, Secretary-General of the Government, Ministers, Secretaries of State, Advisers to the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Secretary-General of the Office of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Head of the Office of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, as well as deputies and high officials in other state bodies. This same decrease also applies to the wage compensation of former high officials and to the wages of high officials who will assume office after this Act enters into force. The Act does not decrease the wages of high officials in the judiciary, high officials of the Constitutional Court and local communities.

The specific goals of the proposed measures are to preserve jobs and keep businesses in operation, to improve the social position of people, particularly those most at risk due to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus, to provide emergency assistance to the self-employed, to improve the liquidity of businesses, to provide support to scientific research projects in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, to reduce meeting fees and the wages of high officials on a state level, the exemption from payment for distribution services and the provision of aid to agriculture.

The act proposal, which follows the principle of protecting health and the lives of people, as well as ensuring the liquidity of economic operators, enters into force on the day following its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia and is temporary in nature, as it sets out content related to the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus. The measures from this part of the Act and from those acts adopted based thereon will apply until 31 May 2020.

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