Thursday, February 25, 2010

Latvia: an unhappy story unfolds around stolen tax data

Associated Press is reporting that stolen tax data is being used by Latvian activists to embarrass politicians and senior government officials in a country that ranks as the weakest economy in the European Union.

According to AP, an activist using the pseudonym Neo , working for an organisation calling itself the People's Army of the Fourth Awakening, claims to have downloaded millions of classified documents over several months from the revenue service's Web site. They are now making the information available on the internet. Their intention, they claim, is to expose graft and waste by top officials, who are paying themselves huge salaries and bonuses at a time when public employees are having their salaries slashed by up to 50 per cent.

The Latvian government is facing massive structural budget deficits, much of which can be traced back to the disastrous adoption of a flat tax regime which has depleted revenues and increased inequality without providing the economic boost that flat tax proponents claim of it.

While many would question Neo's motives, it seems this action has found strong support among ordinary Latvians, who distrust their leaders and oligarchs in equal measure.

1 Comments:

Blogger Physiocrat said...

I seem to recall that Latvia's problems are largely due to the property bubble and subsequent collapse thereof, pumped up by the Swedish banks.

This took down the Swedish krona for a while but the SEK has still risen from 74 pence to 90 pence in the past four years from 2006. That says much about Britain's mismanagement of its economic affairs. If the £ is sinking so badly against the currency of a country that spends significant resources on digging itself out from under a mass of snow, it suggests that the focus of attention should be on the shortcomings of the UK's economic policy which is ruining all of us poor Brits.

3:33 pm  

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