By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv.si
The Slovenian Press Agency (STA) and Dnevnik newspaper jumped to the aid of the socialist plans of Golob’s government. The STA decided to summarise Dnevnik’s record with the view that it is absolutely necessary to tax real estate. This, of course, in times of high inflation, only further attacks the middle class, which has struggled all its life to be able to afford real estate, and on top of that, it also encourages the grey economy, which undoubtedly does not benefit the country.
In the composition Stratification by neighbourhoods, it is possible to read about social and economic inequalities, which are manifested in pronounced income differences between individual settlements in the capital city. “The author believes that the stratification of the population could be prevented mainly by more affordable rental apartments and appropriate taxation of real estate,” the comment of Peter Pahor from Dnevnik was summarised by the STA, while emphasising the point of view that it is necessary to tax real estate appropriately, “to allocate publicly owned land for the construction of rental apartments, tighten the urban planning conditions that would make it impossible to build closed luxury neighbourhoods and instead build diverse neighbourhoods with affordable apartments, also in cooperation with private investors”.
With the aforementioned reporting, the media sided with the government, which apparently believes that taxation is insufficient. It is an obvious attack on the middle class, since it is the one who built the property with the help of their own blisters. At the same time, they more than obviously forget that a higher tax actually means an increase in the grey economy. As a result, fewer apartments will be available for this reason, and rents will be higher as a result. Considering that mostly those who have low incomes and young people decide to rent, the question rightly arises here, if they really care about the welfare of the young and the poor.
Golob’s government is not libertarian at all
If anyone expected after the elections that the newly formed coalition, consisting of the parties Gibanje Svoboda, SD, and Levica, would be libertarian, they were wrong. The coalition is indeed radical left due to Levica. In the new coalition, they announced progressive taxation of all citizens’ property. Economists characterised such intentions as a rather dangerous and unique solution in the world. Only a few countries have progressive taxation. At the same time, they made it clear that by taxing real estate, agricultural land, production assets, business facilities, personal cars, savings in banks, securities and the like (despite this, if the taxes were already settled on the spot) long-term financing would be ensured for social and development policies of the state and local communities.
At that time, the economist Dr Anže Burger emphasised the belief that property taxation is pointless, except in the case of real estate tax on the value of land, as general property taxation reduces incentives for investment, encourages consumption, and causes property to move abroad. “Property such as agricultural land, production assets, business facilities, and museums is completely pointless and harmful to tax, because this inhibits economic activity. In Slovenia, we need to reduce tax progressivity, as we are uncompetitive when it comes to hiring experts compared to neighbouring countries. No one should pay more than 50 percent of their income in taxes and contributions,” said Burger.
The ideas that STA and Dnevnik are promoting this time are undoubtedly not for the benefit of those who are in dire distress. With such high inflation, the increase in rents, which would be the result of higher real estate taxation, would only hit them further, which means that those with low incomes would be pushed to the very edge. Obviously, the media’s first priority is to defend the rulers at any cost, because they are theirs.
The fact that Dnevnik is included in the mentioned campaign of Golob’s government is not even surprising, since not long ago he started to run sunny propaganda for Golob. In the printed and online editions of Dnevnik, an article entitled “The sun is enough for seven nuclear power plants” was published, with which they misleadingly equated the installed power of power plants with the electricity produced, thereby creating a competition where there is none at all.