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Slovenia Weekly

Social Pact underlines commitment to reform

23.01.2015

Editorial

Social pact for 2015 – 2016 will provide a basis to improve competitiveness indicators, raise productivity and improve Slovenia’s chances to end the crisis. Photo: Mostphotos
Led by the labour minister Anja Kopač Mrak, social partners initialled the draft Social Pact for 2015 – 2016 after 16 rounds of negotiations. For the first time since 2009, Slovenia is about to have a new social pact, a document whose goal is to secure stability and social peace and which defines the fundamental commitments and guidelines of the government, employers and trade unions. This is only the fifth time in the history of independent Slovenia that social partners have managed to reach such an agreement and the third such modern pact.

According to the PM Cerar, reaching consensus on the social pact is a major proof that this country is capable of dialogue and understanding. After the end of negotiations, the labour minister Anja Kopač said that by signing this agreement the Slovenian government and social partners had demonstrated that they could build trust and look for compromise for the benefit of everyone. The minister believes that the new trust between partners provides a good reference for the future. “This means progress and quality on all areas of social life for all citizens.”

In 2015–2016, the social pact will provide a basis to improve competitiveness indicators, raise productivity and improve Slovenia’s chances to end the crisis. The social pact provides guidelines for the reform of the tax and health systems, while also envisaging a blueprint of changes in the pensions system beyond 2020 among 140 measures in 11 fields.

With regard to taxes, the social partners agreed that in 2015 and 2016 the existing nominal levels of taxes, contributions and other fees will not increase, nor will there be any new forms of financial burden on the economy unless the government has to introduce urgent measures due to a higher force that would change the macro-economic circumstances unexpectedly. It is planned that the fiscal burden is restructured so that there is less burden on wages, pay for holiday leave, etc. “We will use the spring months to perform a detailed review of the tax legislation in terms of eliminating administrative burden”, announced the finance ministry.

In the area of health care, the social partners have defined guidelines for a health-care reform, where one of the fundamental goals is to present the rights offered by health insurance. Health-care measures include ensuring equal access to health-care services and optimising the network of public health services at all levels. The health reform is also one of the government’s priorities among structural reforms.

Document will apply in 2015 and 2016. By signing it, the government, employers and trade unions have committed themselves to make ensuring a social market economy and appropriate level of social security based on the principles of solidarity and just redistribution of burden their priority. As the crucial part of social dialogue, the social pact presents the basis for reaching a wide social consensus on Slovenia’s future and a democratic value that must be nurtured, developed and strengthened in the future.

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