The absence of systemic solutions for 2023 may result in loss of thousands of jobs
Employers associated in the Republican Union of Employers (RÚZ), the Association of Employers' Unions and Associations of the Slovak Republic (AZZZ) and the Association of Industrial Unions and Transport (APZD), as well as the Association of Towns and Municipalities of Slovakia (ZMOS) yesterday (10.1.2023) at a press conference, again drew attention to the lack of effective aid for energy-intensive enterprises for 2023. The energy crisis and the associated rise in electricity and gas prices are having a negative impact on all businesses. Small and medium-sized enterprises received aid at the beginning of December, but most of the energy-intensive industries, rail transport and water companies are still without continued assistance and it is not clear what they can expect from the government in the new year.
The absence of systemic solutions for 2023 may result in loss of thousands of jobs and, at the same time, lead to major disruptions in supply chains, with fatal consequences for the entire economy. This will have an immediate impact not only on the life of the population, but also on the amount of tax and contribution revenues of the state budget and the competitiveness of Slovak industry. The state intensively discussed possible solutions with employers in the second half of 2022, and energy-intensive enterprises were compensated for the tariff for operating the system (TPS), amounting to a total of forty million euros. However, this measure is far from sufficient to mitigate the effects of the energy crisis and no longer addresses the current situation. The parameters of the aid in 2023 are also unclear, despite the fact that the Ministry of Economy has sent a proposal for another State aid scheme under the EU Temporary Crisis Framework for notification to the European Commission.
"According to information that was publicized yesterday, the government spent less than 80 million euros on roughly 13 thousand applicants - thank you. For large consumers, you remember, last year, the government spent 40 million euros on roughly 120 entrepreneurs - thank you. For the first quarter of this year, we have information that the Ministry of Economy is ready to launch a call for small and medium-sized enterprises and to continue to support these entrepreneurs in the first quarter. Thanks. What we are lacking, then, is support for large customers, to whom small, medium and self-employed people are tied. So we ask that we be given the opportunity to meet with the relevant representatives of the ministries, where we will conclude all our ongoing discussions on this topic and there will be a clear framework of how much money will be allocated, how that money will be allocated, how that money will be used," said Miroslav Kiraľvarga, president of the Republican Union of Employers (NUE) and vice-president of the USSK, at a press conference.
Employers stressed the need for clear communication on the shape of the measures being prepared, the need for a rapid response already at the beginning of 2023 and the promotion of proper dialogue within the tripartite. Industry and the entire economy of the Slovak Republic require only such measures that will ensure our long-term stability, maintenance of employment and competitiveness.