Czech press survey - August 21


21.08.2014 07:34

Prague - The best tools to fight tax evasion are lower taxes, David Klimes writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) today, commenting on the reaction of Czech managers of big firms on Finance Minister Andrej Babis´s plans in this fight.


Ministr financí Andrej Babiš. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal

The managers have sent a clear message saying: Do not expect miracles from the measures and do not forget that you might reach the same or even better results by lowering taxes, Klimes says.

Most managers support the tax offices´ higher sanctions for tax defaulters and almost a half of them welcome the formation of the Cobra special team to fight big tax evasion and tax crime, but at the same time the poll reflects their apparent scepticism, Klimes adds.

In any case, a crushing majority of the polled says: reduce taxes and you will thereby reduce tax evasion.

"A carrot in the form of tax reduction may sometimes work as efficiently as a stick," Klimes concludes.

Experts consider the Czech government pension commission ridiculous and mock its proposals, Petr Kambersky writes in Lidove noviny (LN) today.

He recalls that most recently the commission has proposed that even babies will be able to save money for pensions and that people can "opt out" 1 percent to the third pillar (additional pension insurance) instead of 3 percent to the second pillar (private pension fund).

Vladmir Bezdek, probably the best pension exert in the country, has challenged the pension commission´s work. He has indicated that it is simply a "charade" for voters, but actually nothing fundamental will be done with the pension system, Kambersky says.

He writes that politics is one of the most important professions, but unfortunately in the Czech Republic it attracts mainly people who could not keep themselves in another profession.

An example to understand the essence of Czech politics: The previous centre-right government of Petr Necas considerably raised taxes to compensate the budget for the second pillar (possibility to redirect 3 percent from social insurance payments to the pay-as-you-go state system). The current centre-left cabinet will abolish it, but it will never reduce the high taxes.

"The Czech Republic in brief," Kambersky concludes.

There are hardly any good reasons for purchasing Czech foodstuffs, Petr Kolman writes elsewhere in Hospodarske noviny (HN) today.

All agriculture ministers call on Czechs to buy domestic food products, which is politically understandable, but it does not answer the question why they should do so, Kolman, a lawyer and university lecturer, says.

These calls intensified after the Russian sanctions against Western food exports in reaction to the Western sanctions against Russia for its stance on Ukraine.

However, Kolman writes, it is high time to start thinking as Europeans and not within the borders of national states. Moreover, it is practically impossible to trace where food was produced and where the profit from it will be taxed now.

One of few real advantages of domestic food products is that they did not have to travel long, which is environmentally friendly, Kolman notes.

"The conclusion is clear. There are not many reasons for buying Czech food. On the contrary, reasonable people will buy food according to its price and quality and not its ´nationality.´ No matter if politicians like it," Kolman concludes in HN.

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