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ANO, ODS protest against Social Democrats’ tax plans

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Prague, Dec 10 (CTK) – The tax changes the Social Democrats (CSSD) want to implement would force out successful people and companies from the Czech Republic, the ANO leader, Finance Minister Andrej Babis, told journalists Saturday.
The Social Democrats want to attract voters by progressive taxation they may promise before the next autumn general election.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) said at the meeting of the party’s broad leadership Saturday that the Social Democrats and ANO would be the only real contestants of the race.
“I do not understand why Sobotka keeps criticising me and my movement,” Babis said.
In order to stem its falling poll ratings, the CSSD wants to address the mainstream leftist groups. Its leaders say progressive and sector taxes should be imposed.
Babis said he rejected such ideas.
“The CSSD wants to introduce a state with irresponsible budget. Giving the welfare benefits to everyone and raising the taxes may force out successful people and companies who give jobs to people from the Czech Republic,” Babis said.
The Social Democrats are saying in order to curb the income inequalities, the rich should pay higher taxes, while the people with low and medium incomes should pay less.
The idea is also rejected by the opposition center-right Civic Democratic Party (ODS).
Its deputy Jan Skopecek said taxes should be low and simple, which is the opposite of the Social Democrat plan.
Skopecek said this kind of revolution had to be rejected by “every sensible man.”
“More tax zones and an even more complicated taxation system, higher taxes for successful individuals and companies, which would entail lower encouragement for activity and work, this seems to be the Social Democrats’ dreamt-of way,” Skopecek said.
Such a way may threaten the Czech Republic’s prosperity, Skopecek said.
ODS leader Petr Fiala, too, has protested against the plan.
“At the close of his term in office, Sobotka seems to have woken up. For years, he was retreating before Agrofert and now he is calling for a change. This sounds ridiculous,” Fiala said.
According to the Forbes magazine, Babis’s property is worth 2.4 billion US dollars and he is the second richest businessman in the Czech Republic, after Petr Kellner (11.4 billion US dollars).
Babis helped establish the Agrofert company in the 1990s. He has gradually gained its control.
ODS deputy chairwoman Alexandra Udzenija has said online that “the progressive tax is the most stupid approach that has ever been proposed.”

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