The Serbian government has not responded to requests from the Union of Employers in regards to the measures that would best mitigate the consequences of the pandemic.
The Union asked the government to allow businesses to postpone payment of value-added tax (VAT), rather than purchase a bunch of luxury SUVs worth €33,000 each for municipal police – the honorary president of the Union of Employers, Nebojsa Atanackovic, has said.
“The state should not behave like a drunken millionaire spending money left and right and buying a bunch of Land Rovers in the middle of a pandemic that will be used to control parking violations in Belgrade, because even small savings are important in a situation where the economy has a very low income,” Atanackovic added.
Last week, the Union of Employers called for a reduction in VAT in the tourism sector and local taxes, the abolition of an obligation to present documentation relating to the non-taxable costs of transporting workers, for the costs of sick leave to be borne by the State Health Insurance Fund (RFZO) for a maximum of 30 days, and for the procedure for sending workers on paid leave for more than 45 days to be simplified.
“It is incomprehensible for the city of Belgrade to purchase 18 luxury SUVs (Land Rover Discovery) for 33,000 euro each, all four-wheel-drives that are used on mountain roads, as if the government was afraid that police vehicles would get stuck on tiny hills in Belgrade,” said Atanackovic.
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He added that there are much cheaper vehicles, still four-wheel drive, capable of performing the same function.
If the government does not respond to the employers’ requests in the near future, they will forward their requests to the Socio-Economic Council.
“Many countries in Europe are helping companies which turnover has considerably dropped, or have almost no turnover at all, which is why employers, the state and trade unions should look for the best solutions for the survival of the business sector,” Atanackovic said.
“The second set of measures should have been offered only to the companies most at risk, in terms of income, which should have received assistance for a longer period of time, instead of the government paying them 60% of the minimum wage for two months,” Atanackovic concluded.
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