Bud­get rev­enues con­tinue to lag

Tar­get for the first four months of the year missed by 5.3 per­cent ow­ing to mis­cal­cu­la­tions and de­lays

Kathimerini English - - Business & Finance - BY PROKOPIS HATZINIKO­LAOU

De­spite the slight im­prove­ment in bud­get rev­enues in the first four months of the year, there is still a con­sid­er­able short­fall that ex­ceeds 1.2 bil­lion eu­ros, ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary data com­piled by the Fi­nance Min­istry.

Un­of­fi­cial fig­ures show that rev­enues in April posted a 3 per­cent in­crease and reached 3.95 bil­lion eu­ros against 3.84 bil­lion eu­ros in the same month last year. How­ever, the over­all pic­ture of pub­lic rev­enues re­mains prob- lem­atic and par­tic­u­larly wor­ry­ing, and as a re­sult the min­istry has been avoid­ing all ex­pen­di­tures such as grants to state cor­po­ra­tions as well as putting off pay­ments to its sup­pli­ers.

Pre­lim­i­nary data in­di­cate that in the year to April the pub­lic cof­fers had an in­flow of 15.08 bil­lion eu­ros against the min­istry’s tar­get of 16.39 bil­lion eu­ros.

Com­pared with the first four months of last year, rev­enues in 2011 have posted a 5.3 per­cent de­crease. The bud­get had pro­vided for a yearly in­crease of 8.5 per­cent in­stead, com­pared with rev­enues from the Jan­uary-April pe­riod in 2010. The main rea­sons that the state saw its rev­enues lag­ging sig­nif­i­cantly in the above pe­riod are to be found in re­duced in­come tax, overop­ti­mistic ex­pec­ta­tions from tax­a­tion, and de­lays in li­cens­ing games of chance and the re­vamp­ing of the mech­a­nism against tax eva­sion.

The bud­get had pro­vided for rev­enues from tax­ing cor­po­ra­tions’ in­come to the amount of 2.8 bil­lion eu­ros. Now the min­istry is ex­pect­ing at least 1 bil­lion eu­ros less ow­ing to the losses or smaller prof­its of com­pa­nies in 2010. The plan was also for rev­enues from tax­pay- ers’ in­come to reach 10.6 bil­lion eu­ros, but again, the min­istry now sees the tar­get has been missed by more than 1 bil­lion eu­ros.

The li­censes for games of chance that were to be is­sued this year have been post­poned un­til 2012 as the rel­e­vant law was de­layed and not sent to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion in time.

What is more, the re­struc­tur­ing of the mech­a­nism to com­bat tax eva­sion was also de­layed, re­duc­ing the chances of reach­ing the tar­get set for re­trieved rev­enues that the min­istry had set at 1.6 bil­lion eu­ros this year.

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