ECONOMY

Incentive for new hirings

The government is offering companies tax breaks for hiring more people. An Economy and Finance Ministry circular released yesterday specified that companies who increase their employment by 5 percent this year will see their corporate tax for the year 2003 decrease to 34 percent from 35 percent. The tax will decline further, to 33 percent, if a company’s work force increases by 10 percent, and to 32.5 percent if it increases by 12.5 percent. The delay in the reward exists to make certain that no companies who want to take advantage of the new regulation fire their extra employees the following year. In fact, if companies want to be eligible for the reduced tax rate, their work force must not decline the following year. When plans to introduce the measure were announced last year, employers had said that, compared with the generous corporate tax cuts and incentives offered by other countries, this offer was «laughable.»