Ex­ces­sive taxes funded the hand­outs

Kathimerini English - - Focus - PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

The in­creased taxes on cor­po­ra­tions and house­holds, as well as higher con­sump­tion taxes, brought the Greek econ­omy to its knees last year, ac­cord­ing to the de­fin­i­tive data for the 2016 bud­get that the Fi­nance Min­istry re­leased yes­ter­day.

The sur­plus in tax rev­enues com­pared to the tar­get set for last year, which came to 1.7 bil­lion eu­ros, re­sulted from the hikes in val­ueadded tax (VAT) rates, the abo­li­tion of the VAT dis­count on many Aegean is­lands, the new in­come tax rates, the in­crease in the sol­i­dar­ity levy, and the rise in the spe­cial con­sump­tion tax rates on cig­a­rettes and heat­ing oil.

The ad­di­tional taxes peo­ple and com­pa­nies paid (com­pared with the tar­get) fi­nanced the hand­outs to pen­sion­ers just be­fore Christ­mas.

The data high­light the ex­ces­sive tax­a­tion on cor­po­ra­tions dur­ing 2016 in com­par­i­son with 2015, a phe­nom­e­non ex­pected to grow fur­ther this year. Busi­nesses paid 37 per­cent more tax (or 1.074 bil­lion eu­ros) from 2015, while house­holds paid 354 mil­lion eu­ros more than the year be­fore.

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