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Frequently asked questions

  • Why do we convert expenditures and revenues to per capita and per-worker numbers?
    These values should help in creating a picture of the extent - the dimensions - of public expenditures. If Slovakia had a capitation or "head tax", meaning that if every citizen paid the same amount for all state services, then in 2008 each of us would have to contribute SKK 126,000. The current tax system, however, is set up such that most state revenues are drawn from working people (employees and businesspeople), so we show this figure as well. Taken this way, each working person is burdened with SKK 283,000 per year. For comparison, in 2008 the average annual gross salary for employees was SKK 327,000 (including employer contributions). The fact that very few working people in Slovakia pay this amount in taxes and contributions suggests a high degree of disparity among people in different income brackets.

  • How many residents are there and how many working people in total?
    According to information from the Statistical Office, the population was 5,400,400 at the end of 2007. The number of working people in the last quarter of 2007 was 2,398,300. This figure is determined by the methodology of "Selected Findings on the Labor Force" used by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, which addresses persons 15 years of age and above who during the sample week performed at least one hour of work for salary or wage or work with the goal of making profit, including people working abroad. This can be full- or part-time work on a permanent, temporary, occasional or seasonal basis.

  • What is public administration?
    There are several definitions of public administration which differ based on their boundaries. At The Price of the State we speak of public administration to the extent defined by EUROSTAT's ESA 95 methodology.
    Public administration is thus the aggregate of activities and services provided by state administrative organizations, municipal and regional governments and other statutory institutions.
    There are two requirements for classifying an institution as part of the public administration sector:
    1) Control, meaning that government bodies have the ability to determine the organization's general management policy
    2) Non-market orientation - a maximum of 49% of operating expenses are covered by sales (the remainder must be covered by public funds)

    What emerges from these conditions is that delimiting public administration is an arbitrary thing, meaning that institutions are judged not according to their nature but rather based on artificially set quantitative criteria (why should an organization with sales covering only 50% of expenses not be part of public administration?) This simplifying step arises due to the fact that Slovak law (and European law to a certain degree) has thus far not provided concrete definitions for what is in the public interest and what is a statutory institution. Doing so might enable the delimitation of public administration based on the subject and scope of these institutions' activities.

  • How much have we already paid in taxes this year?
    The increasing value for tax receipts comes from a projection of year-end tax receipts based on running figures available on the website of the Tax Directorate of the Slovak Republic. More specifically, it addresses individual income tax (in full, without tax transfers to municipal and regional governments), corporate income tax, taxes received through withholding, consumption taxes, VAT and duties on international trade. The second, higher value also contains contributions paid into the social insurance and health insurance funds.

  • What does "consolidated" mean?
    Total expenditures on public administration should be easily determined as the sum of the expenditures of all public administration organizations. Such a total is not a reliable portrayal, however, since some agencies and institutions shift expenditures amongst themselves. Therefore it is necessary to deduct those that are accounted for twice from the total expenditure sum. Example: The Ministry of Education sends municipalities and regions approximately SKK 27 billion annually for primary and secondary school operations. This same sum then appears again in the municipalities' and regions' expenditures. Consolidation, then, is the removal of this duplication. At the same time one must note, however, that the ESA 95 consolidation methodology does not eliminate all duplication. For example, for insurance premiums for people covered by the state from the Ministry of Health budget, insurance company receipts are not deducted because such payments are considered to be payments by citizens (state insureds) rather than payments from the state budget.
    Total consolidated expenditures for public administration in 2008 reached SKK 725 billion.

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    Number of the Day

    Free public education

    There is nothing like a free public education in Slovakia.

    Every citizen financed public education via taxes on average amount of 340,0 Eur in 2010 (almost half of VAT per capita paid in 2010).

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