Employers: Business-owners give government most negative assessment yet

The Estonian government during its field session in Brussels. May 3, 2017.
The Estonian government during its field session in Brussels. May 3, 2017. Source: (Tauno Tõhk/Government Office)

An opinion survey of entrepreneurs commissioned by the Estonian Employers' Confederation indicated that 49 percent of business-owners rated the impact of the last few months of government activity on the business environment negative, a record low.

This time it made no difference in which sector a business operated, as evaluations of the government's activity have become negative across the board.

In comparison, just three months ago, only 38 percent of respondents reported a negative attitude toward the government's activity.

"At the same time, in entrepreneurs' opinion the market situation and business opportunities only continue to improve and their assessment of the overall economic situation improved by as much as one-third," said Estonian Employers' Confederation analyst Raul Aron.

"There are at least six holes and they are called tax hikes: the deposit tax, the new excise duty on packaging, the increased excise duty on natural gas, the road tax for trucks, the tax on sweetened drinks and the advanced tax on credit institutions' profits are changes currently being addressed in the government or the Riigikogu that strike a blow to businesses' competitivenes," Aron explained. "Business-owners find that the government has moved forcefully to dismantle the simple and transparent tax system and friendly business environment which have been Estonia' trump cards."

According to the analyst, in order to accelerate economic growth and improve long-term positions, business-owners need to invest and develop more, however there are currently too many uncertainties.

With the employers' economic speedometer, the Employers' Confederation measures business-owners' assessment of the economic situation and satisfaction with the government's activities in improving the business environment.

The opinion survey is conducted by the Estonian Institute of Economic Research with the support of the European Social Fund (ESF).

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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