Tbilisi residents have already experienced a fair number of cycles in street vending regulations where local authorities tolerate, then regulate, and then evict street vendors. These cycles correspond with economic trends and election cycles starting in 2006 when street vending was declared illegal by the Tbilisi Government and the first attempts were made to enforce the ban.
The labor market is always a hot topic in our country, and debate about it usually overheats as elections approach. Referring to unsatisfactory labor market indicators is always a good way to emphasize the mistakes and/or the inertia of the ruling parties. Another common way to score points is making pre-election promises of increased future employment. One way or another, parties always promise and voters always believe their promises (including unrealistic ones).
Economic reforms announced in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in October 2016 raised concerns about whether Georgia was departing from its path of prudent fiscal policy. A reform of the corporate profit tax and increased infrastructure investment were driving expectations of a 6% of GDP budget deficit in 2017, endangering Georgia’s macroeconomic stability and its reputation with investors.
Forecasters, professionals and amateurs alike, all got it wrong. The Brexit came as a surprise because the bookmakers (people who organize bets on developments in politics, economics, and sports) reported that about three times more money was put on the event that Britain would stay in the EU than on its alternative. With poll results being inconclusive in the weeks before the referendum, this led many pundits to believe that Britain would stay in the EU.
Cutting taxes and achieving higher economic growth, as a result, is every politician’s dream. The 2016 parliamentary elections of Georgia showed just how important and controversial the question of taxation can become.