Multi-bill to be tweaked

Min­is­ter hints tax on rental in­come to be scrapped; rate hikes might be put off

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Just a day af­ter the sub­mis­sion in Par­lia­ment of a multi-bill of prior ac­tions de­manded by cred­i­tors, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials back­tracked yesterday on one of the most con­tentious pro­pos­als, sug­gest­ing that a plan to in­crease tax on the rental in­come of prop­erty own­ers would be changed.

Al­ter­nate Fi­nance Min­is­ter Try­fon Alex­i­adis in­di­cated that a pro­vi­sion stip­u­lat­ing that prop­erty own­ers be obliged to pay tax even on rent pay­ments that they have not col­lected would be scrapped. The mea­sure had prompted com­plaints from ho­mown­ers and SYRIZA MPs.

In ad­di­tion, it ap­pears that plans to in­crease the tax on rental in­come by 2 per­cent­age points would be sus­pended, so the rates of 11 per­cent for an­nual rental in­come un­der 12,000 eu­ros and 33 per­cent for an­nual rental in­come above 12,000 eu­ros would re­main in place, rather than the higher rates of 15 and 35 per­cent re­spec­tively that are set out in the multi-bill.

Ac­cord­ing to Alex­i­adis, the ques­tion of tax on rent is cur­rently be­ing dis­cussed by Greek of­fi­cials and mem­bers of the cred­i­tors’ tech­ni­cal teams in Athens. Sources in­di­cated that new rates will be in­cluded in a tax bill to be tabled in Par­lia­ment next month which is ex­pected to shift the bur­den to Greeks with larger prop­er­ties and higher in­comes.

Yesterday, the first day the bill was dis- cussed at the com­mit­tee level, left­ist SYRIZA sought to de­fend the mea­sures, say­ing that some were harsh but un­avoid­able. New Democ­racy and PA­SOK, which shared power be­fore SYRIZA came to power, con­demned the new aus­ter­ity mea­sures, as did cen­trist Po­tami.

“We are not happy about it, but we are forced to bring these pro­vi­sions,” Alex­i­adis said.

ND’s rap­por­teur Nikos Panayiotopou­los slammed the bill as re­ces­sion­ary, “load­ing new tax bur­dens on al­ready over­taxed cit­i­zens.” He said, how­ever, that ND would sup­port pro­vi­sions fore­see­ing a harsher crack­down on tax eva­sion.

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