Campaign Analysis Calls Tax Promises Superficial
A study evaluating the elections campaign finds that party tax policy promises to voters are worded without concrete figures or timeframe.
"It is difficult to objectively measure the expected impact and their fulfillment later," said Praxis analyst Risto Kaarna.
Praxis, a think tank, conducted the analysis commissioned by ERR.
Praxis found that most parties focus on the effect of taxes on economic growth. But voters are most interested in knowing who will carry the tax burden – whether it be businesses, employees, consumers, the rich or the poor.
"Unfortunately that is not entirely clear from the campaign platforms. Neither is it clear what one or another tax reform is supposed to achieve,“ said Kaarna, noting that the economy can grow or decline through any combination of options. More important is what is done with the taxpayer's money.
"If the state loses tax revenue, then which services or support will we be lacking?" asked Kaarna.
According to their campaign talking points, the Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party and the People's Union, all current opposition parties, favor a redistribution of wealth to benefit the poor and those in the outskirts. Those parties, and the Green Party, also believe the tax system should have a bigger role in stabilizing the economy.
On the other hand, the ruling coalition parties, Reform and IRL, both want to maintain a low tax burden, relatively favoring the higher-income population, but also to raise excise taxes. They also stand for a simple tax system with fewer exemptions.