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Social Pact Signed

Three months after the launch of talks, the government, trade unions and employers signed a social pact for 2015-2016, a document aimed at securing stability and social peace.

Only the fifth such document so far and coming after the previous one expired in 2009, the social pact foresees 140 measures in key areas, except on the minimum wage, an issue that will be tackled separately. The government committed not to increase the tax burden on business expect in the case of force majeure. While a real estate tax is to be introduced, the taxation on labour is to be cut. The document also provides guidelines for health reform and envisages a blueprint of changes in the pensions system beyond 2020.


The document was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Miro Cerar after it was endorsed by the relevant bodies of all three partners following the initialling on 20 January. In his address Cerar underscored the significance of the deal for greater trust and cooperation, taking it as a sign of a great level of trust, responsibility and care for a common future. He urged leaving behind distrust, doubt and the failure to stick to laws and pledges made, Cerar called for joining forces to work toward the same goals. He also urged further talks to find solutions to key issues for society, sustainable development, for "what will unite us and take us forward socially and economically, what will also give hope to future generations". Cerar believes the social pact will be a good basis for concrete solutions to leave behind the "difficult situation". He also pointed to good economic growth and unemployment indicators as a positive sign. "Today we achieved unity, but it's a new day tomorrow when each one of us must fulfil the commitments from this social agreement," the PM said, promising for the government to do its best to meet its commitments.


Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Anja Kopač Mrak, who headed the talks on the social pact, said the agreement offered a vision of key policies to be shaped in the future. Meanwhile, Kopač Mrak suggested for a special task force to look into the trade unions' demand to exclude bonuses from the minimum wage - the most
controversial issue in the talks aside from insolvency legislation. The group would also examine the tax wedge on the minimum wage with Kopač Mrak noting that the government would draw up an analysis and calculations this year for a tax reform to be implemented in 2016.


In the deal, the partners pledge to provide a social market economy and a suitable level of social security and a fair distribution of burdens. The main commitments include ensuring a new development breakthrough, reducing unemployment, dealing with the crisis of values, boosting competitiveness, economic democracy and internal consumer demand. The partners also pledge to enhance the effectiveness of the public sector, set up a system of long-term care and adjust the amount of minimum earnings or social transfers.