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Monday, November 28, 2022

To Distract From The Smodej Affair, Mesec Declared War On The Economic Sector With Compulsory Christmas Bonuses

By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv

The coordinator of the Left party (Levica), Luka Mesec, has apparently decided to declare war against the economic sector. While the economy, in the face of rising prices, is calling for measures to bring down inflation, Mesec has decided to propose the introduction of a compulsory Christmas bonus. It is as if he does not understand that this is pushing employers further to the brink of collapse, where some will be forced to close their doors and start letting people go.

After Luka Mesec, the coordinator of the Left party, decided that he apparently does not intend to take a drug test in order to silence public insinuations, he announced at a consultation of the Association of Employers in Craft and Small Business of Slovenia that his ministry was planning to change the labour law, and the changes would include the introduction of a Christmas bonus. “We, the people from our ministry, have proposed to introduce a compulsory Christmas bonus, that is to say, an additional allowance. If this is adopted, employees will be paid a minimum wage allowance this winter,” said Golob’s Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. The proposal has predictably raised a lot of eyebrows in the business community, and it has also attracted a lot of criticism.

An uproar in the economic sector
The Slovenian Chamber of Craft and Small Businesses was particularly critical of Mesec’s idea, pointing out that we should be aware of the fact that entrepreneurs and craftsmen are already struggling to keep their businesses afloat, and thus also preserve jobs. “Given the extremely difficult situation that is the result of the energy crisis, we at the Chamber of Craft and Small Businesses of Slovenia are strongly opposed to the proposal to introduce a compulsory Christmas bonus. In these times, craftsmen and entrepreneurs are fighting for the survival of their businesses and for the preservation of their employees’ jobs. Compulsory Christmas bonuses represent an additional burden that many cannot afford at the moment,” said the President of the Chamber of Craft and Small Businesses, adding that while the Chamber of Craft and Small Businesses is undoubtedly in favour of decent wages, it also believes that Christmas bonuses should be paid on a voluntary basis. They argued that those who can, will and already do reward their workers.

Criticism has also been voiced by food companies, with Danilo Kobal, Chairman of the Board of the company Mlinotest stressing that the request is completely unnecessary at this time. Janez Rebec, President of the Management Board of the poultry farming company Pivka, expressed his belief that any such proposal increases appetites for certain benefits. He believes that now is simply not the right time to discuss such ideas. He warns that food companies will face difficulties in ensuring the liquidity of their businesses. He believes that what can be shared is already being shared today and added that returns in this industry are rather modest at the expense of low added value. Meanwhile, Izidor Krivec, the long-standing Director of the company Celjske mesnine, described Mesec’s idea as a populist statement. B

Businesses cannot be a social corrective
Mitja Gorenšček
, Executive Director of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, commented on Mesec’s proposal and said that Mesec seems to image the compulsory Christmas bonus as a way to help employees in the face of the rising prices. “Businesses cannot be a social corrective. That is the task of the state, as the companies cannot take on such a commitment. It is the state’s job to adopt measures with which they can make sure that those most affected get help from the state,” he said, according to the newspaper Finance, adding that companies are currently very worried about how they will conduct business in 2023, on the back of rising energy prices, raw material input costs, inflation and minimum wage adjustments.

As we can see, the economic sector is unanimous that the Left party’s coordinator’s idea simply lacks common sense. Because if you put an additional burden on those who contribute to economic growth at such a difficult time, then there is a greater danger of job cuts. However, since we know that the payment of social, financial assistance is on the shoulders of the state, now would be a great time to rethink what this means. Especially on the part of Mesec, who, as someone who has been latched on to the state fund ever since leaving school, simply does not understand what the monthly cost means to employers. It seems that the whole government simply does not know how to act in these times, even though they were claiming before the elections that they were bursting with ideas. They do not seem to understand that the Slovenian worker is one of the most heavily taxed in the world, they come up with ideas such as the compulsory check-in at work, which is just extra administration, and they are not doing anything to curb the speculators’ prices and thus help the entrepreneurs. It seems that the Christmas bonuses are just another new chapter on a road that is heading in the wrong direction.

With this war on the economy, Mesec seems to be trying to distract himself from the rape affair and the calls for a drug test. But in reality, populism of this kind is harmful to everyone. In the end, there will be no winners, only losers. That is probably not what anyone wants, is it?

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