One in two house­holds is sup­ported by pen­sions

Greeks have slashed food, ap­parel, heat­ing and travel spend­ing

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY DIM­I­TRA MANIFAVA

Nearly half of Greek house­holds live on the pen­sions of their el­derly rel­a­tives as an in­creas­ing num­ber of re­tired par­ents sup­port their job­less chil­dren and their re­spec­tive fam­i­lies, a re­cent sur­vey has shown.

The study com­piled by the In­sti­tute for Small and Medium-Sized En­ter­prises of the Hel­lenic Con­fed­er­a­tion of Pro­fes­sion­als, Crafts­men & Mer­chants (GSEVEE) also found that grow­ing un­em­ploy­ment and the re­sult­ing dive in in­comes has led house­holds to slash their ex­pen­di­tures, even for food, of­ten at the ex­pense of qual­ity.

Pen­sions

con­sti­tute

the main source of in­come for 48.6 per­cent of house­holds, the sur­vey con­ducted in De­cem­ber found, which is par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­point­ing as far as the coun­try’s na­tional prod­uct and its so­cial wel­fare sys­tem are con­cerned, the in­sti­tute stresses. Salaries are the main source of in­come for 35.9 per­cent of house­holds and prof­its from en­ter­prises for 10.3 per­cent.

With 94.6 per­cent of house­holds re­spond­ing that their in­comes have dropped by an av­er­age rate of 39.5 per­cent, it is no sur­prise that 34.8 per­cent of house­holds de­lay the pay­ment of dues to the state, to so­cial se­cu­rity funds, to util­i­ties and to banks.

This trend is ex­pected to gain mo­men­tum in 2014, as 41.7 per­cent out of the 1,201 house­holds that par­tic- ipated in the sur­vey ex­pect to be un­able to meet their ba­sic obli­ga­tions this year. Re­gard­ing tax obli­ga­tions es­pe­cially, 44 per­cent said they will not be able to meet re­quire­ments. Should this hap­pen, it could mean ma­jor losses for state cof­fers. Ac­cu­mu­lated debts are a ma­jor con­cern for many house­holds and one in three home­own­ers is con­cerned the prop­erty could be re­pos­sessed.

The data col­lected showed that 63.7 per­cent of house­holds have cut down on food spend­ing, 78.4 per­cent on heat­ing, 90.3 per­cent on ap­parel, 90.5 per­cent on take-away food and 88.8 per­cent on travel ex­pen­di­ture. The ex­pense cat­e­gories house­holds try not to cut from are health and ed­u­ca­tion.

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