Ex­tra mea­sures of 4.35 bln in ‘16

In year when econ­omy is pro­jected to shrink fur­ther, gov­ern­ment is an­tic­i­pat­ing more tax rev­enues

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU & SOTIRIS NIKAS

The first draft of the 2016 bud­get tabled yesterday by the gov­ern­ment in Par­lia­ment pro­vides for mea­sures with a fis­cal im­pact of 4.35 bil­lion eu­ros, of which 2.49 bil­lion eu­ros con­cern ex­tra tax rev­enues and 1.2 bil­lion eu­ros will come from so­cial se­cu­rity cuts.

Strangely enough, the bud­get shows that the gov­ern­ment is aim­ing at an in­crease in public rev­enues, both through di­rect and in­di­rect tax­a­tion, in a year when the eco­nomic re­ces­sion will deepen and the nom­i­nal gross do­mes­tic prod­uct will be re­duced sig­nif­i­cantly, by 1.3 per­cent.

The fi­nal draft, to be sub­mit­ted in Par­lia­ment next month, will in­clude the full amount of the new bur­den on farm­ers, en­ter­prises and house­holds, which will by far ex- ceed the cur­rent sum of 2.49 bil­lion in ad­di­tional tax rev­enues.

The first draft pro­vides for a 4.3 per­cent over­all in­crease in di­rect tax­a­tion to 19.93 bil­lion eu­ros, though that also in­cludes the last cou­ple of in­stall­ments of the 2015 Sin­gle Prop­erty Tax (ENFIA), due by end-Fe­bru­ary 2016. In­di­rect taxes will grow 3.3 per­cent from 2015 to 24.87 bil­lion eu­ros.

Rev­enues from pri­va­ti­za­tions are pro­jected at 2 bil­lion eu­ros next year, the bulk of which is ex­pected to come from the con­ces­sion of the 14 re­gional air­ports – their one-off price is de­ter­mined at 1.23 bil­lion eu­ros and will be likely paid by the win­ning bid­der within 2016.

Ex­pen­di­ture will be re­duced by 1.8 bil­lion eu­ros in 2016, with twothirds of that com­ing from pen­sion re­duc­tions and so­cial se­cu­rity in gen­eral.

The draft bud­get also pro­vides for the gen­eral gov­ern­ment debt to

1.1236 come to 198 per­cent next year, and in this con­text the Fi­nance Min­istry is tak­ing it for granted that the debt will be re­struc­tured again: “Af­ter the forth­com­ing restruc­tur­ing of the Greek public debt, its ba­sic char­ac­ter­is­tics are ex­pected to im­prove fur­ther, re­gard­ing its av­er­age du­ra­tion, the nor­mal­iza­tion of its pay­ment rate, and the pre­dictabil­ity, re­duc­tion and sta­bi­liza­tion of the cost of its ser­vic­ing, so as to ren­der the debt fur­ther sus­tain­able.”

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