Aleksandar Nikoloski Vice President of VMRO-DPMNE
Each political party tends to come to power in order to implement its policies, create new projects, open new jobs, raise the people’s living standard and implement state policies. The goal of each political party is to create a better life for citizens and to implement state strategic policies when it comes to power. And so SDSM during the parliamentary elections in 2016 promised to bring life to everyone in Macedonia. Instead of life they brought criminal tenders, chaos in health and devastation in the economy. SDSM introduced something new on the political scene – instead of improving the economy; SDSM launched a campaign to change the name. They started with a strong campaign in which they lied to the people that we only need to change the name, and how everything will be fine with a magic wand. That the name is the one that is blocking our progress and that Macedonia is at the gates of paradise if it changes its name. Zaev promised that after they started the process of changing the name Macedonia, citizens will live better. Not only do the citizens not live better, but the government is starting a tax reform these days, which is directly affecting the citizens. This reform is a reform for impoverishing the citizens. VMRO-DPMNE, when it won the 2006 elections, introduced a flat tax that allowed for strong economic growth in Macedonia, and a year later it showed results and the Macedonian economy grew by 7 percent. As comparison, in the first year of SDSM’s rule, we have a growth rate of only 2 percent. While the VMRO-DPMNE-led government cut taxes, and the economy was in constant growth, SDSM has a plan for life and increases taxes, and the economy is sinking. So in this plan SDSM envisages an increase of personal tax from 10 percent to 18 percent. Then this tax “reform” also provides an increase of 10 to 15 percent of the tax for all who issue an apartment or rented out shop. For the first time in the Republic of Macedonia, the savings that the citizens have will be taxed with 15 percent. This is something nobody ever thought of doing. And this is not where the tax “reform” stops, the government also foresees taxation of dividends, that is, shares. SDSM oligarchs are not the only ones that have stocks in Macedonia, but citizens as well, who have inherited stocks in the 90s of the previous century and these small stocks that citizens have bring some income into their home budget. The government and the minister should know that increased taxes bring lower incomes in the state budget, stimulate tax evasion and increase the grey economy.
Mathematics and projections should not always arise from the minister’s office. SDSM does not have a sense of reality closed in their cabinets and should be aware that the reverse will happen rather than higher revenues in the budget, and will have a much lower income in the budget. I will take this opportunity to remind you that the basic task of each government is to enable a successful and efficient tax collection. Their inability is also indicated by the fact that the same economic activity in Western Macedonia has a drastic fall in VAT revenues. This points to the fact that tax evasion has already started. With this tax economy SDSM will not stimulate the economy, on the contrary it will stimulate the young IT engineers, the popular freelancers to flee from Macedonia. This “reform” will force all doctors, all mechanical and electrical engineers to run away from Macedonia, the best young staff will also leave the country. What does the government led by Zaev and Tevdovski do to make young people stay in Macedonia? This government lied to citizens during the pre-election campaign that they would return 15 percent of the collected value added tax if citizens filed their bills. They did not keep this promise.
The business community also points out that this government measure is completely wrong, since this will not only not create new jobs, on the contrary, many businessmen will not be able to withstand this new fiscal policy and some of the workers will either be left jobless, or their salary will be reduced. This measure of tax increases will inevitably be followed by reduction of investments and will not create new jobs. A strong economy is being built by creating new jobs, not by raising taxes.
VMRO-DPMNE is preparing its own programme and it foresees a flat-rate tax, while for young people who provide income, science, knowledge and experience from abroad, there will be tax cuts. A successful government reduces taxes in order to stimulate the economy. A government that holds 27 percent of capital investment and makes chaos out of the economy raises taxes.
Zaev and Dimitrov lied the Macedonian people with their expensive campaign ‘For European Macedonia’. Macedonia will not be part of the European Union unless the ministers pull up their sleeves and start implementing reforms. Macedonia will not get a date for accession talks unless these reforms are implemented. Even if Zaev and Dimitrov change the country’s name ten times, it will still not improve the Macedonian economy. The economy is improving with dedicated work, with the implementation of capital projects, by opening new jobs, stimulating young people to stay in the country, and not changing the name of the state. This government has decided to change our name and to impoverish the people.
In the coming months we will come up with a concrete programme for stable economic growth. And we will implement it as soon as we have the opportunity to lead the Government. It will not be easy because SDSM once again leaves an economic wasteland behind. But we have shown in the past that we know how to move Macedonia in the right direction and make the economy grow, for people to have higher salaries and happiness.
The already experienced economic team, upgraded with fresh young experts, is the team that has all the answers for economic progress and well-being of Macedonia in the third decade of the 21st century./IBNA
Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik and IBNA.