In parallel with the economic recovery in 2021 and the implementation of the Europe Now program, the creation of conditions for long-term fiscal sustainability and stability of public finances has begun, and the results are already visible after only a few months, and are reflected in the dynamism of economic activity and a significant increase in tax revenues. Europe Now stands for the continuation of the reforms started both within the tax policy and within the public expenditure management policy, all with the aim of stronger public finances, as a prerequisite for a strong Montenegro. In the part of tax policy, we will emphasize the comprehensive reform of the tax system with the aim of expanding the tax base, which would create conditions for generating new sources of income through: continuation of the successful implementation of the Europe Now program, changes in the excise policy, reform of the tax and customs administration, a better strategy for reducing the tax debt, gradual abolition of so-called tax expenditures that are in contradiction with EU legislation and a strong fight against the gray economy and tax indiscipline and selectivity. When it comes to the management of public expenditure, it is largely determined by social protection systems, as well as the management of the gross earnings fund, since the budget structure has been completely shifted towards the so-called mandatory consumption. According to the above, the special focus of the Europe Now Movement will be on: the reform of the pension and health system – with the aim of more adequate social protection of citizens in Montenegro, the reform of the social card system with the aim of directing funds to those who are socially vulnerable, and the optimization of public administration through the implementation of functional analyzes that should identify areas in which it is necessary to rationalize the number of employees and those areas that require additional personnel reinforcement. In addition to the above, Europe Now advocates further improvement of the program budget, further rationalization of “non-productive expenditure”, as well as a change in the structure of budget expenditure in order to achieve a greater participation of the capital budget in the total expenditure – as a foundation for the future development of Montenegro, which requires the strengthening of the implementation capacities of the Transport Directorate and the Directorate of Public Works. Special emphasis will also be placed on two more segments important for the stability of public finances, namely the system of financing local self-governments and the management of companies that are majority-owned by the state. When it comes to local self-governments, the focus will be on decentralization and management empowerment. When it comes to the management of companies majority-owned by the state, work will be done on creating a regulatory framework that will be the basis and support for Montenegro Works in the further reform of state-owned companies and the improvement of their corporate management, all with the aim of making the state-owned enterprises the engines of economic development in the country, instead of the current situation in which a large number of them are business loss makers, at the expense of the budget and taxpayers. We are witnessing the fact that the world is facing historically high inflation in recent months, which comes primarily as a result of rising energy and food prices. In the absence of a monetary policy, and bearing in mind the complete import dependence on oil and food, Europe Now advocates the implementation of legal changes that include the reduction of excise duties on fuel as well as the reduction of VAT on staple food items. Also, in periods of crisis situations, Europe Now advocates the implementation of a temporary limit on the prices/margins of staple food items, as well as the improvement of the system of commodity reserves, following the example of numerous EU countries.

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