17th regular session of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia
At today's session, the Government started discussing proposed tax changes, adopted the proposed act on intervention measures in education for the 2022/2023 school year, increased economic aid to EUR 86 million due to high electricity and gas prices, and adopted the proposed act regulating anew paternity leave and parental protection. It also confirmed the assessment of damage to property and the reimbursement of intervention funds due to the consequences of this summer’s fires in the Karst region. The Government will also finance additional equipment for the societies that played a part in firefighting in the Karst.
The Government has today started discussing a package of proposed amendments to five tax acts: the Personal Income Tax Act, the Excise Duty Act, the Tax Procedure Act, the Financial Administration Act and the Fiscal Validation of Receipts Act. They will be finally adopted by the Government in the coming days, after they have been discussed by the Economic and Social Council tomorrow. In light of an extremely tense and unpredictable situation, in drafting the proposed tax changes, we have sought to strike a balance between targeted measures to address price increases and the (too) large shortfall in budget revenue. The proposed tax changes are therefore being augmented with measures to mitigate inflation and price increases. Minimum, average and up to five times average wage earners will certainly receive higher net incomes next year compared to this year. We have paid additional attention to those in the lowest income brackets and to young people, who are most in need of help from the state right now. We have found additional solutions to relieve the burden on young farmers taking over a farm, and we are introducing an immediate, direct and higher excise duty benefit on the purchase of marked fuel to power agricultural and forestry machinery, and vehicles adapted for transporting beehives.
Another of the proposed tax changes is the overhaul of the system of flat-rate taxpayers. The Government stresses that it is not getting rid of the system, but that it has been demonstrated through public debate and dialogue with the social partners that changes are necessary. In terms of taxes, this year we have readied the most urgent corrections, which we aim to implement swiftly in light of the current situation.
The aim of the proposed Act on Intervention Measures in Education for the 2022/2023 School Year is to prevent the social distress of pupils, students and their families by keeping the price of school lunches in the 2022/2023 school year at the same level as in the 2021/2022 school year. The proposed Act also provides that accommodation fees for high school and university students shall be set at the baseline price valid for the period between 1 January 2022 and 31 August 2022.
With businesses facing increasing challenges due to rising energy prices and the Ukrainian crisis, the Government decided to amend the Act Governing Aid to Businesses Hit by High Increases in Electricity and Natural Gas Prices. The main purpose of the proposed amendments is to expand the scope of beneficiaries and increase the share of eligible costs reimbursed to businesses from the initial 30% to 50% for basic aid. The amended Act also introduces a new measure of soft liquidity loans for businesses affected by the crisis in the amount of EUR 6 million. The amendments will more than double the government funds allocated for business aid in this area, which will amount to EUR 86 million.
The changes brought by the proposed Act Amending the Parental Protection and Family Benefits Act are aimed at facilitating the reconciliation of work and family life. According to the proposed amendment to the Act, fathers will be able to take 15 out of 30 calendar days of paternity leave in the period from the birth of their child until the child is three months old. The remaining 15 days which until now they have been able to take any time until the child completed the first grade of primary school, would be included in the part of the parental leave that is non-transferrable.
Today, the Government confirmed the final assessment of immediate damage to property caused by the fire in the Karst between 17 July and 1 August 2022 in the Notranjska and Severnoprimorska regions. The damage totals EUR 26,876,227.68 and was verified by the National Commission for the Evaluation of Damage Caused by Natural and Other Disasters on 7 September 2022. The Government also approved a report on measures and intervention expenditure related to extinguishing fires in the Karst between 17 July and 1 August this year. Furthermore, it decided to finance additional equipment for the societies that took part in the firefighting in the Karst.