The Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS), based in Bratislava, Slovakia, is dedicated to scaling back the high taxes levied on its citizens. When speaking with young people throughout the country, INESS found that many Slovaks incorrectly believed that social benefits given to the Romani (a minority group within Slovakia) are a key reason for the high tax rates. Taxes in Slovakia are very high, indeed, but INESS wants to correct the myth that the Romani are the cause of the burden.
A new website seeks to more accurately depict where Slovaks’ taxes are going—and the results show that social benefits, like the money supporting the Romani, comprise less than 0.3 percent of the taxes paid by families. The data shows that the Romani are used as a scapegoat for public anger over high taxes. The real culprit, however, is public administration and interest on public debt, which cost billions of euros every year. Slovaks are right to be angry about their high taxes. INESS is working to make sure their anger is directed at the real enemy—big bloated government— and not minority populations.