CS: First Consul Ciervo, thank you for taking the time to speak with the Coprieta Standard about the Alexandrian economy and your plans for it. To start, can you provide our readers with a brief introduction to the state of the economy as it stands today?
JC: The Alexandrian Economy has suffered from a recession and our continued practice of deficit spending has only prolonged our troubles. Our current tax rate stands at 17% for Income and Corporate Taxes. We’ve prided ourselves on low taxes and hoped for business to come to Alexandria. A three percent hike for businesses isn’t the death knell and is still relatively low when compared to other nations. We want to ensure that Alexandria is still a place for entrepreneurs and innovation.
CS: What are some of the major challenges you see to successful economic development in Alexandria?
JC: Activity is always a problem to economic development. Over the years, we have tried again and again to implement some sort of economic plan and while they’ve always failed for a number of complicated reasons, the lack of activity and involvement with these new systems has been the recurring theme. We have to find some way to get and keep people involved.
CS: You’re on record in the Imperial Assembly as alluding to new legislation concerning the economy being under development. Can you share with us the main points of your economic development plan over the near term?
JC: We are working to establish an economic and political simulation system where the two are interconnected, making them stronger and more likely to last. A key part of this new system would be providing frequent updates on the state of the economy in Alexandria and see how the actions of our elected officials affect the economy. Most of our updates come from the National Bureau of Statistics but the Bureau hasn’t provided many updates recently. My plan would allow the Bureau to make more announcements on the state of our Empire to give our citizens the best information possible to participate in the economy and politics.
CS: Your proposed Alexandrian Tax Code, currently before the Imperial Assembly, will raise average tax rates from 17% to a minimum of 20%, with some exceptions for low-income Alexandrians. Why the tax raise?
JC: Alexandrians want some form of social protection from the government and the current tax system does not allow the government to provide those services. My predecessor, Mr. Reynaud, ran on a platform of raising taxes for this very reason and the people supported his plan. Their desire for these programs promised didn’t disappear when the Reynaud Government was dissolved. We need to be able to pay for these government programs and raising taxes is one of the most viable options.
CS: In closing, as a politician, where do you place yourself on the spectrum, i.e. are you in favour of allowing the market to self-govern or are you in support of a strong government regulatory role?
JC: I believe in moderation. The regulatory role of the government must strike the right balance between a free market and a strongly regulated market. A laissez-faire approach to economics too often leads to corruption and greed and any kind of government overreach inhibits the economic freedom necessary for innovation and success. In finding the right balance, we can ensure that companies don’t take shortcuts to save money at the expense of the health and safety of Alexandrians.