Cred­i­tors say ben­e­fit en­tails ex­tra cuts

Kathimerini English - - Focus - ROULA SALOUROU

Greece’s cred­i­tors – and par­tic­u­larly the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund – are rais­ing fresh ob­jec­tions to the gov­ern­ment’s plans for fi­nanc­ing its So­cial Sol­i­dar­ity In­come.

Cred­i­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives are de­mand­ing fresh cuts to cer­tain wel­fare ben­e­fits in or­der to fi­nance mea­sure for sup­port­ing vul­ner­a­ble so­cial groups in 2018, adding one more ob­sta­cle in the process for com­plet­ing the sec­ond bailout re­view.

The new snag has prompted a strong re­ac­tion from the Greek ne­go­ti­at­ing team, as this is­sue was sup­posed to have been closed af­ter the gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to pro­ceed with two tough re­forms that could in­clude in­ter­ven­tions to ben­e­fits given to house­holds and to the dis­abled, as well as to tax ex­emp­tions, with an aim of sav­ing be­tween 200 and 210 mil­lion euros in 2018.

For this year, the on­line plat­form for the sub­mis­sion of ap­pli­ca­tions for as­sis­tance is ex­pected to open to the pub­lic within Jan­uary. The aim is for some 700,000 peo­ple to ben­e­fit from the So­cial Sol­i­dar­ity In­come. The gov­ern­ment’s plan is for the ap­pli­ca­tion of the mea­sure across Greece to be fi­nanced both in 2017 and in the com­ing years from the state bud­get.

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