Bulgaria Industrialists Blast Govt over Health Insurance Hike
The Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association has criticized the Borisov government for deciding to up the health insurance payments from 8% to 10%.
In a statement issued Friday, the Industrial Capital Association declared the decision, whose aim is to raise more money for the National Health Insurance Fund, “an inappropriate and completely wrong move in the current economic situation and given the uncompleted health reforms,
The industrialists point out that the government made the decision without consulting the National Tripartite Cooperation Council, i.e. the business sector and the syndicates.
What is more, this move is counter to the commitment made by the government to reduce the health and social insurance payments as a whole. The government intended to increase the health insurance payments by 2% in 2011 anyway but only after completing the health care reform, the BICA says.
It stresses that the increase in question will place additional burden on the production sector and will slow down the speed of recovery of the Bulgarian economy as it increases the cost of labor and reduces the competitiveness of the Bulgarian companies. The BICA fears this might lead to additional layoffs of workers.
“With a state and municipal debt of over BGN 1,5 B to the private sector accrued as a result of executed but unpaid for public procurement orders, not refunded VAT, and unfinished advance, interim and final payments of EU-funded projects, the state should not demand additional money from the sector to which it is indebted,” the statement of the Industrial Capital Association reads.
The industrialists also fear the health insurance hike will boost the gray economy, and that less rather than more money will be collected. They think the government should look for solutions by changing policies in the health sector.
The BICA believes additional funds for the National Health Insurance Fund could be raised by having the civil servants and all other persons employed by the state pay their own health insurance fees. Currently, the fees of the Bulgarian state employees are paid for by the national budget.
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