Lithuania needs to attract more investors to raise additional budget revenue, the chairman of the board of Investors' Forum said on Monday, commenting on the government's plans to levy new taxes on bank assets and retail chains.
The government's draft 2020 budget, currently under debate in the parliament, calls for introducing taxes on bank assets, retail sales and polluting cars next year.
Rolandas Valiūnas noted that, in order to attract new investments, the country had to deal with the issue of labour shortage.
“Obviously, there is a serious shortage of workers, both in industrial and intellectual production,” the board chairman of the association of Lithuania's major investors said after meeting with President Gitanas Nausėda.
The “conservative” public opinion and politicians' approach to migration “leads to it being increasingly difficult to support pensioners and children through taxes”, said Valiūnas, who is the managing partner of the law firm Valiūnas Ellex.
“And then we find ourselves giving out proposals such as tax hikes,” he added.
“In my opinion, raising taxes is not a good thing. This, in principle, leads to the state failing to meet certain criteria in the eyes of investors,” he added.
But Valiūnas insists that the government would raise more tax revenue by attracting several more large investors to Lithuania.
“My favourite example is Danske Bank's service centre. It contributes 44.5 million euros in employee payroll taxes annually,” he said. “We just need two such investments as Danske Bank's service centre to raise around 100 million euros in additional revenue per year.”