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Bulgaria Employers, Industrialists against Health Tax Hike

Date: 13.03.2010

A confederation, bringing together employers and industrialists in Bulgaria, has voiced vehement opposition to the government's plan to raise the health tax.

“The government is likely to repeat the hike on a regular basis, which will deal a heavy blow to the levels of unemployment in Bulgaria over the next few years,” the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIBG) said in a statement.

According to the confederation the 2 percentage-point rise in health insurance levies to 10 percent of an individual's income, effective from April, will hurt the balance between the major insurers in the National Health Insurance Bank since the bigger part of the burden will be carried by the private sector.

"In times of a deteriorating economic crisis, this may sow discontent among the people and bring about unpredictable consequences,” the statement points out.

The confederation backs an alternative solution, which would make state officials, who are currently making minimal health insurance installments, dip deeper into their pockets.

Bulgaria's government approved earlier in the week a tax hike is expected to raise BGN 300 M to support the ailing health system amidst nationwide pay-protests by doctors.

The government says it can only raise spending if it manages to collect more revenues.

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