Accelerated achievement of the standards for our country's entry into the OECD, the euro area and the Schengen area, preservation of macroeconomic and financial stability, tax model and rates are among the main expectations of the Association of Bulgarian Employers' Organizations / AOBR / after the formation of a new parliament and government. This was commented to BTA by the Chairman of the Board of the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria (BICA) Vasil Velev, who this year is also the rotating chairman of AOBR. Accelerating economic growth through a better business environment, reducing administrative burdens and reducing regulations to the minimum required by EU law, e-government, promoting investment and innovation and fighting corruption, the informal economy and cartels are among the other priorities, according to business areas.
Before the elections, AOBR met with representatives of Democratic Bulgaria, the "Stand Up BG! We Are Coming!" Coalition, the BSP and the MRF to present business expectations after the elections, and recommendations for next year's state budget.
The AOBR insists that the state budget for 2022 be provided with funds for financing policies to deal with the consequences of the crisis caused by COVID-19, as well as the energy crisis. In their recommendations, the four national representative organizations want the budget for next year to include resources for conducting policies to improve the business environment, as well as opportunities to ensure economic growth in Bulgaria, including by providing sufficient funds to co-finance the National Plan for Reconstruction and Sustainability and the Partnership Agreement. With the budget for 2022, our country must take the next step on our path to the eurozone and the OECD. During the construction of the new parliament, businesses were asked to submit the draft state budget for next year in an accelerated time and not by a "floating" but by a majority, which will be responsible for its decisions.
At the meetings with the parties, the policies related to anti-crisis measures, including accelerated investment of European funds, were mentioned as extremely important by the AOBR. Among them are the continuation of the measure for maintaining employment, the application of a measure for financing the fixed costs of enterprises with a decrease in sales revenues over 30 percent compared to those implemented in 2019, which will support the liquidity of Bulgarian enterprises, and measures for compensation of the companies for the unprecedentedly high prices of electricity and natural gas, exceeding the EWRC estimates.
The representatives of AOBR categorically announced their support for maintaining tax stability while maintaining the levels of tax rates and social security contributions for 2022. According to the organization, this is one of the main factors for encouraging investment and providing conditions for economic growth. In addition, AOBR insisted on strict adherence to the cost-covering principle in the formation of state and municipal fees. Once again, employers' organizations remarked on the continuous postponement of the calculation of the "Household Waste" fee based on real pollution and demanded that Budget 2022 be prepared on the basis of which the fee is calculated on a "polluter pays" basis.
Other important recommendations of AOBR were to stop the administrative increase of the minimum wage and pension, to abolish the archaic minimum insurance income, to keep the amount of the maximum insurance income until the average exceeds half of it, to terminate the payment by companies for the first three days of sick leave and others.