Editorial: Price tags

POSTED: 03/20/12 3:06 PM

The government needs additional revenue and it will get that extra money by introducing fees for services that were free up to now. Residence permits, gun licenses and permits for public events are among the selected targets for this initiative.
In a country where tax compliance stands at best around 35 percent such a measure was of course inevitable. If the government wants to offer services to its citizens at a decent level it needs the resources to make this possible.
The fees are of course a roundabout tax-increase for those citizens who need these particular services. They will start to feel the pain of the economic downturn directly once these measures are in place.
On a positive note, the process for business licenses will be sped up by setting a 6-week deadline for decisions on a request. If there is no objection within those six weeks from the relevant department, the license is automatically granted. We applaud this approach, because it will free up resources to deal with requests that require more attention, while simple cases will automatically be approved.

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