Final Word from Monday, January 26, 2015

Is it at all possible that PM Bohuslav Sobotka, who served as finance minister for four years, doesn't know what corporate tax is? It's theoretically possible, given that people like Sobotka who have never been in the private sector (unless you count his legal apprenticeship with Radek Pokorný) sometimes confuse technical terms. When Sobotka talks about imposing a "sector" tax on at least banks unless Andrej Babiš can show that he has improved tax collections, he elides this discussion with talk of a 1-2 point increase in "corporate" tax. But these are two wildly different things. A sector tax would target specific industries and would be on top of the existing corporate tax. Companies outside of these sectors would not face any additional taxation. Yet Sobotka says that a 1-2 point increase in corporate tax would not lead to an outflow of companies. Babiš swatted down Sobotka's suggestion by saying that there is no mention in the coalition agreement of raising corporate tax, and it's true. Call it a lesson in terminology from one finance minister ... to his apprentice. [Czech Republic percent percentage]

Glossary of difficult words

apprenticeship - training period for a profession;

to elide (two or more things) - to join together or merge;

to swat down - to dismiss something; to hit something and to bring it to the ground.

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