site.btaFinance Minister, MPs Talk Mine Reclamation, Keeping Lower VAT Rate for Restaurants
Finance Minister Assen Vassilev and three MPs Friday discussed the setting up of a state-owned mine reclamation enterprise. GERB leader Boyko Borissov, Delyan Peevski MP of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, and Energy Committee Chairman Delyan Dobrev MP of GERB-UDF took part in the meeting.
The Finance Minister agreed that the VAT rate for restaurants would stay at 9% and the 20% rate would not be reinstated as envisaged in a legislative package drawn up by his Ministry.
Both Borissov and Peevski briefed the media about the meeting.
Peevski said: "We agreed that the people who will be laid off should be fully employed in a state-owned enterprise, and those who do not want to work there should be paid 36 monthly wages immediately." The state-owned enterprise will do mine reclamation among other things. "We expect the government to draw up a plan about it because people cannot be left without jobs," the MP said.
Peevski said that the Finance Minister was reasonable, and hopes that Vassilev will inform the Prime Minister about the talks, so that the latter will reach understanding with the trade unions. The MP was referring to Friday's roadblocks staged by miners and energy workers protesting at closures of coal-fired power plants and coal mines envisaged by Territorial Just Transition Plans, which the government is going to send to the European Commission on Saturday. The Energy Minister should sort out this problem or quit of his own accord, Peevski said.
The Finance Minister also agreed that the 9% VAT rate for restaurants would stay, but he expects proposals for eliminating tax losses due to undeclared revenues. "We were clear - 20% VAT for restaurants is not going to happen," Peevski said.
Vassilev's proposal for offering financial incentives to people who report tax evasion to the authorities will also be dropped, the MP told the media.