The planned Oct. 1 increase in excise taxes on petroleum products, tobacco and coffee will deal a new financial blow to the already impoverished population of Serbia, the Sloga United Trade Unions of Serbia stated on Sept. 6.
According to the alliance, the working class and low-income pensioners will be most affected by the raised levies.
“The ruling party uses every opportunity to manipulate the public’s feelings by appearing to boost pensions and salaries while covertly lining their own pockets and [the pockets of] their tycoons,” the Sloga statement reads.
“Any seeming raise [in public pensions and state employee salaries] is nullified by the excise tax hike, especially on petroleum products and due to the already high inflation rate, because the prices of basic foodstuffs, transportation, market produce and bakery goods will go up.”
“The regime’s behavior during yesterday’s session of Parliament, where they tried to accuse the opposition of supposedly arguing against a pension increase, shows how far [the regime] is ready to go to manipulate public opinion,” the trade unions concluded.