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The Government to fight grey economy with legislation and general measures

At today’s session, the Government approved a programme of measures aimed to combat the grey economy, which also foresees curbing undeclared employment, inspection campaigns, amendments to health-care legislation and damages for illegal building. Measures also tackle cash payments, duties and eliminating administrative barriers.

The Government plans to launch a comprehensive campaign to reduce the grey economy, which includes incentives, eliminating the main causes, and greater oversight and sanctions. The plan, Mitigating the Grey Economy in the Republic of Slovenia, presents sector-specific policies and measures, and horizontal measures focused on improving the detection of the grey economy, better sanctions policy, prevention, and raising citizens’ awareness of the significance of the grey economy and its consequences.

 

The document, which was drawn up on the basis of an intradepartmental project, foresees a number of measures in various ministries. In the area covered by the Ministry of Labour, a new act will reduce the amount of black market work and employment, and there will also be amendments to the Labour Inspection Act, which will seek to ensure more effective inspection. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Spatial Planning will tackle illegal buildings and structures, where damages will have to be paid regardless of whether they are legalised or not. The planned changes will also offer greater flexibility for those employed in road transport, particularly regarding taxis and buses. The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology will introduce measures aimed at more consistent collection of data on overnight stays. Plans for the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment include a clearer distinction between hospitality and tourism services on farms. The relevant legislation will also be amended to prevent illegally acquired wood and wood products from coming onto the market.

 

The Government also proposes several horizontal measures. Tax issues regarding cash payments are already being monitored more carefully, and the Government also seeks to promote the use of non-cash transactions and management of bank accounts. With regard to preventing the evasion of excise duties, an agreement on stricter oversight of products subject to excise duties was reached earlier this year. To deal with this inspections are carried out on tankers carrying energy products, and on the entering and exiting products subject to excise duties, tax warehouses, and of businesses and individuals that apply for refunds of excise duties on fuels used for agricultural machinery. Other changes which will contribute to reducing the grey economy include measures aimed at reducing red tape, combining databases and joint inspections.

 

The grey economy is increasingly becoming not only an economic, but also a moral issue and a problem of values in Europe. Therefore, the Government will regularly monitor and update the implementation of documents and measures.

 

There will also be a communication campaign to support government measures to raise awareness among the public about how the grey economy is a lose-lose situation, which cannot be eradicated without the combined efforts of all stakeholders.

 

The campaign will communicate the same message as the European Commission. Slovenia’s expectations are similar to other countries: the Government plans to reduce the grey economy by half, which translates into at least 200 million euros in additional tax revenues.