Yesterday’s adoption of the Fiscal Strategy and the planned increase in VAT to 21 percent showed that the Parliament of Montenegro, for the umpteenth time, joined the Government in the intention to transfer the entire burden of devastating economic decisions to the citizens of Montenegro.
Although the Parliament should serve the public interest, the parliamentary majority gave its voice to the plan of the Government of Montenegro to fill huge budget holes out of citizens’ pockets.
MANS has previously warned that the government’s economic policy in the coming period will focus on finding new ways to further tax the citizens and that the unlawfully imposed taxes on electricity and fuel were only the beginning.
Thus, as of next Tuesday, prices of cigarettes will be higher, and from next year, we expect new, higher prices of alcohol, coal and another increase of tobacco prices.
There is no doubt that the VAT increase, and especially fuel prices, will affect the prices and the overall living standard of the citizens of Montenegro, whose budgets are already significantly impoverished.
The so-called new fiscal policy of Dusko Markovic’s Government is only a continuation of the practice established by his predecessor, which is based on taking from the poor and complete destruction of the middle class.
On the other hand, nothing is being done regarding the tax on luxury and profit, and Montenegro is still recognized as a destination where “relief” for the so-called strategic investors ins on the verge of sound economic logic.
Similar is the situation with the collection of accumulated tax debt, especially with key companies close to authorities, which are allowed to avoid tax payment for years, while retaining privileged status in dealings with the state.
All this suggests that there was an alternative to the VAT increase, but there is still no strong motivation in the government to apply equally. Until then, citizens will continue to finance poor economic decisions of the government that continue to be adopted without any political and material responsibility.