Saturday, December 28, 2013

Albania: Budget passes in Parliament

Budget passes in Parliament
With 82 votes in favor and 27 against, the majority passed the budget of the next year by giving an end to the discussions with the opposition, which considers this budget the budget of crisis.

PM Rama blamed the opposition for the situation of the public debt, and accused it of bad governing in these eight years, and for abusing with the legalization process and funds for the homeless.

"It is painful to see Albania today without an alternative in opposition. You are talking as if we are around the end of our mandate, forgetting that 100 days ago it was you in power. You are talking as this debt was not made by you. We are not increasing the debt, but we are simply formalizing the one taken by you. We don't want to pass to businesses the burden of a crisis that yo have created with your short-term policies. In eight years you created a giant mess", Rama declared.

In the session that lasted seven hours, the majority rejected the amends proposed by the DP, which were based on the electoral program of the SP. The first amend that was rejected was  that of the former Minister of Finances, who demanded an increased tax for the large business.

"This proposition is based on our deep conviction that low taxes are an instrument that encourages the development of the Albanian economy, and also comes in full accordance with the electoral commitments and the electoral program of the Socialist majority, which has publicly declared that there will be no increased taxes for busines in the first year", Bode declared.

"There are 166.000 self-employed people who support 500.000 Albanian citizens. We have removed the small business tax and have reduced the tax on profit, and that's why our package supports the small business. You mentioned a 70 million USD here. Only in 2014, the government will return 350 million USD to the business companies", Ahmetaj declared.

The second most important amend of the package with 39, was that proposed by Prime Minister Berisha for cancelling the 10 ALL tax on gas for circulation.

The second amend of the list with 39 in total, was the one proposed by former PM Sali Berisha, to cancel the 10 ALL tax on a liter of gas.

"This tax will push Albania to recession. You will collect 80 million USD, but you will ruin 800 million USD. You are gamblers. You do you protect your gambling houses? Why don't you raise taxes on gambling, on the sin, but you raise it on gas", Berisha declared.

"Fuels prices are becoming relatively acceptable for the region. It is a necessary measure to reduce the traffic. The Albanian drivers will not have the same gas that used to destroy their vehicles, and in a long-term view, the public only profits and there will be no direct  influence", declared the Minister of Energy and Industry, Damian Gjiknuri.

The new tax system raises the annual burden for businesses and citizens with 20 million USD. The government says that they are making an equal distribution of the tax burden, but the opposition insists that this package will plunge the country into recession.

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