A black hole emerges over new so­cial se­cu­rity fund’s first months

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY ROULA SALOUROU & EVA KARAMANOLI

The rev­enues of the new Sin­gle So­cial Se­cu­rity En­tity (EFKA) are show­ing signs of a black hole from the out­set, and the La­bor Min­istry and the fund’s man­age­ment are in a bat­tle against time to col­lect at least 50 per­cent of the amount due by March 17, the new dead­line granted for the pay­ment of Jan­uary con­tri­bu­tions by free­lance work­ers, farm­ers and the self-em­ployed. Con­tri­bu­tions from salary work­ers have beaten ex­pec­ta­tions.

Col­lect­ing even half of con­tri­bu­tions due will be a long shot, while it will all be tak­ing place at the same time as the de­tailed tech­ni­cal in­spec­tion by the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the coun­try’s cred­i­tors on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pen­sion re­form. Any tar­get missed will make the new mea­sures that the coun­try’s cred­i­tors, par­tic­u­larly the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund, are in­sist­ing on that much more likely.

The true state of EFKA’s rev­enues from free­lancers and the self­em­ployed will emerge at the end of the week, but the ex­ten­sion granted to every­one up to March 17 may di­lute the pic­ture, as next to those who have not yet re­ceived a pay no­tice, there will be those who typ­i­cally pay right at the last minute.

Of course in March the Fe­bru­ary con­tri­bu­tions will also be due, while the March 17 dead­line also con­cerns other dec­la­ra­tions, such as the pay­ment of the Christ­mas bonus.

Last Fri­day, be­fore the ex­ten­sion was granted, farm­ers, self-em­ployed pro­fes­sion­als and free­lancers paid 25-30 mil­lion eu­ros in con­tri­bu­tions. In to­tal an es­ti­mated 70-80 mil­lion eu­ros has been col­lected from non-salary work­ers, while their dues add up to some 250-270 mil­lion per month. Ac­cord­ing to pro­jec­tions by the gov­ern­ment, any sum top­ping 130 mil­lion will be seen as a pos­i­tive devel­op­ment on March 17.

Since the re­form’s an­nounce­ment by for­mer min­is­ter Gior­gos Ka­trouga­los, the min­istry’s main ar­gu­ment had been that the new sys­tem of cal­cu­lat­ing the con­tri­bu­tions of non-salary work­ers would in­crease EFKA’s rev­enues not through a con­tri­bu­tion in­crease but by al­low­ing more peo­ple – who un­til re­cently would not pay – to con­trib­ute their dues. That set the col­lec­tion rate bar much higher than the 50 per­cent recorded in 2016.

The new dead­line for Jan­uary con­tri­bu­tion pay­ments to EFKA is March 17.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.