Final Word from Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's possible to argue that, given the state of the world economy, an increase in VATis desirable, because it reduces consumption and requires that resources be allocatedmore efficiently. However, this isn't the stated reason for the increase. Instead, MiroslavKalousek sees it merely as a revenue-enhancer. He is failing to take into accountthe reality that retail sales are already declining and will drop even more when theVAT rises. He is again basing his budget policy on false expectations, without anyproper analysis of whether the benefits from a higher tax will justify the subsequentlosses in jobs in retailing and manufacturing. Instead of accepting this as a donedeal, the business community and consumer groups should rally to fight the VATincrease, esp. given Kalousek's sudden bad turn of luck (the criminal investigation,the failed eco-tender, etc.). When you smell blood, you've got to go for the kill.

Glossary of difficult words

the big VAT truth - a play on words; the big fat truth about something is the real or ugly truth about it;

revenue-enhancer - something that increases revenue;

to rally - to come together to support a person or cause;

to smell blood - to discern weakness or vulnerability in an opponent;

to go for the kill - to take decisive action, often ruthlessly, to turn a situation to one's advantage.

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