Economic Policy Review ISSN 1313 - 0544

The Messages in the Government Program

Author: Svetla Kostadinova / 17.12.2009
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Every government program is a noteworthy reading. You can compare pre-election promises with the real actions of the government at least.

We won't comment the details, because we don't want to bore our readers, and unfortunately we'll repeat a lot of suggestions, that we have presented a few months ago in "Bulgaria in the International Rankings: 70 Recommendations for Prosperity", many of them missing in the program.

That's why we will afford just general comments.

  • The program is realized with good intensions for better conditions for business and life, but only fragmentary description how these will be achieved. A purpose like "opportunely induction in the national legislation of the new directives of EU" without expressly explanation how to do it doesn't say anything. There are two ways to reach that - the current, to simply copy the European texts and in this way 49.9% from the expenses of the business come from the European legislation; the second way - making a valuation how to cut expenditures for inductions of European directives. The second way is better, but the program doesn't make clear which of them will use.
  • It's not clear what will be the policy in those spheres, that need the most urgent reforms and that swallow up the biggest part of the budget - retirement system, health services, education, and defense and security. The most of the actions that the program offers are just superficial and don't guarantee long-term development. Can you imagine that you have problem with your car and it stops during you're driving - if you repaint it you won't figure the problem out, if you upholster it you won't fix it, too, if you spend money for new tires it will stop again. It has been an example for the "reforms" for many years in the health and the retirement systems - attacking imperfections, but not thinking about basic changes.
  • The government will rescue us again. A cursory review of the main actions shows that the biggest part of the program is directed towards developing rules, building of procedures and projects, inducting of new requirements and providing of preconditions... - actions that are connected with spending money from the budget and more government interference in our life. These actions don't guarantee solving the problems, but it's certainly that they will burden everybody. The most important actions are connected with decreasing of the burden for doing business and making the rules easier, but these seems to be rather exceptions in the program.

The general impression from the program is that somebody has the best intentions for protecting us again, but there is no clear idea how to do that. That's why the government should leave every citizen or business to do that on their own, giving up guarantees that the rules are simple and are being executed for everybody without any exceptions.