Final Word from Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Coalition MPs are scrambling to defeat a passage in the income-tax amendment that would inhibit dividend payments by investors getting incentives from the government. Several MPs are competing to be the first to submit a bill to remove the controversial passage. This episode is a good example of how non-elected bureaucrats sometimes try to dictate government policy, instead of leaving the task to elected politicians. When Ivan Pilip was still an MP for US-DEU, he also caused a storm by slipping in a controversial amendment (on buyout offers to minority shareholders), but there was a big difference. He was an elected official with every right to do so. This time, one or more non-elected ministry officials with an axe to grind against foreign investors tried - unsuccessfully, it seems - to write the rules themselves, without the approval of politicians or voters. EU


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