Small businesses, which, as of 1 March 2018, were included as part of the Value Added Tax regime, have once again protested yesterday against this measure, by closing their shops for several hours. This protest seems to have prompted the reaction of the political class, in power and in opposition in the same way they reacted a few days ago due to the serious situation caused by the introduction of the new tax for the maintenance of the Nation’s Road. Many politicians participated in the debate concerning this issue, considering it as a worthy argument to be involved in. So, yesterday, MPs of the Democratic Party, but also of the Socialist Movement for Integration, have spread in different areas of the capital to show their support for small businesses during their 60 minute protest.
Opposition MPs called on the government to cancel the application of such measure, because according to them, this tax makes small businesses go bust. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha also showed his support about the protest through a status on social networks, where he considered the introduction of small businesses as part of the VAT regime as a blow against the business sector and the economy. On the other hand, the minister of Finance, Arben Ahmetaj has provided clarifications regarding the introduction of small businesses as part of the VAT regime. According to him, apart from being an important step in the fight against informality, this reform in itself does not focus on generating revenues from small businesses, but to obtain a more accurate declaration of revenues by large businesses.
The country’s Prime Minister, Edi Rama has also become part of the public debate for the inclusion of small businesses in the VAT regime. PM Rama said that he was against the protest held by this category, stressing that politicians are using it to further their own ends, thus targeting the opposition.