Two weeks ago was presented the sixth consecutive Alternative Budget with low taxes of the Institute for Market Economics (IME), between the first and the second reading of Budget 2009 in the Parliament. The alternative budgets of IME had always aimed at presenting a different view of the state finances, based on the notion that changes in Bulgaria are possible and should not be postponed in time but accepted now, at the present moment.
The Alternative Budget of IME
The “recovery” plan of the European Commission
The European commission (EC) announced recently a plan for economic recovery, which aims are to stimulate consumer demand, to reduce the effects on the workers from the economic crisis, to improve competitiveness of the European economy in the future and to direct it towards greener production. This must happen by spending €200 billion, which should be gathered through payments from the budgets of the separate states (€170 billion) and the common budget (€30 billion).
The legislative competition
Due to purely political or even better purely economic reasons, during recent days the Minister of Economics Mr. Peter Dimitrov mentioned that the Council of Ministers could rethink the concept for minimum capital and eventually to suggest a greater (that Mr. Martin Dimitrov’s proposal) reduction and the amount of 100 levs was mentioned...
The paradox with the policies about tobacco and cigarettes
This week there was dispute which affected a lot of producers of tobacco from various countries, including Bulgaria. On one hand, the European Parliament insists on extending the period for assistance to the tobacco producers until 2013. On the other, the Commissioner on agriculture Mariann Fischer Boel stated that the assistance must stop during 2010. The result was the grumbling of the tobacco producers, which even stated protests.
New Book: "How To Do It: Lessons from Successful Liberal Reforms in CEE"
This publication should encourage all reform-minded readers by not only introducing examples of successful liberal market reforms but also by giving them practical insights about how these reforms were achieved. To our readers we would like to send out the message: Let us make this publication a never ending success story – there are more stories to be told.
The myths about budget 2009 … and the market
During the discussions of the proposed budget for 2009 in the Parliament were stated some absolutely erroneous ideas, which however appear to have been gaining public attention. The truth is that if they were accurate now we would have been poorer than some African nations. Here are the details with explanations why the claims are absurd.
Why the minimum wage should not be increased
Recently statistics was published by Eurostat, where the member countries are compared according to the nominal value of the minimum wage. According to this parameter Bulgaria is taking the last place, which is frequently used by trade union leaders as an argument in support of the requests to increase the minimum wage in the country... A more in-depth look on the labor market of the Union reveals another interesting relation. Bulgaria is at the first place in the EU according to the parameter “percentage of the population, which is working at the minimum wage”...
Price control outside bounds
According to data published by the Agency for economic analysis and forecasting (AEAF) , the share of the controlled prices within the economy has fallen from 21.3% in 2006 to 17.4% for 2007 (for comparison during 1991 and 1992 this parameter is 14%, respectively 13.4%, while in 1996 it is 52.4%). The questions in this case are two – is this too much or too little and whether here are included all prices over which under one or another form the government has direct effect (if we talk about indirect influence than we have to include all prices).