Jean-Paul Olinger, secretary general of the UEL business group, said that business taxation should be further revised.
Photo: Anthony Dehez/archives
Business lobby advocates more tax reforms
The business association UEL (Union des entreprises luxembourgeoises) has stated that it has become increasingly important for small and medium businesses to be able to communicate in English.
In an interview with public radio 100,7 on 5 January, the secretary general Jean-Paul Olinger talked about the challenges that businesses face. These include maintaining productivity levels, a lack of qualified personnel and the digital transformations.
The UEL represents 35,000 companies, which constitute 80% of employment and 85% of GDP.
While big international companies could register healthy profits, Luxembourg’s SMEs were not doing that well, because their profit margins were smaller and they struggled finding qualified people. Olinger added that the recent and upcoming 2018 wage indexations were partly related to that, and rejected the idea of raising the minimum wage because productivity was stagnating. GDP growth was extensive, based almost exclusively on population growth (employment grew by 50% since 2000), but the individual worker was not more productive or richer than in 2000.
During his interview with 100,7, the UEL secretary general called for more concrete ways to have companies produce more without hiring more people. He added that it was not about working more, but differently, and that the digitization was an opportunity.
Olinger said that Luxembourg had often been a step ahead of other countries in terms of taxation, which had attracted many businesses. But other competing countries, such as the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and the US had lower taxes. He added that Luxembourg should introduce further tax reforms.