Spend­ing cuts pret­tify bud­get data

Kathimerini English - - Focus - PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

De­lays in the fund­ing of hos­pi­tals, so­cial spend­ing cuts and low ex­pen­di­ture on the Public In­vest­ments Pro­gram served to pret­tify the pic­ture of the state bud­get over the first half of the year, pro­duc­ing a pri­mary sur­plus of 1.93 bil­lion eu­ros, Fi­nance Min­istry fig­ures showed yes­ter­day.

At the same time bud­get rev­enues posted a mar­ginal in­crease over the tar­get the min­istry had set for the Jan­uary-June pe­riod. How­ever, the big chal­lenge for the govern­ment starts at the end of this month with the pay­ment of the first tranche of in­come tax by tax­pay­ers, fol­lowed later on by the Sin­gle Prop­erty Tax (ENFIA) and road tax at the end of the year.

In to­tal the state will have to col­lect 33 bil­lion eu­ros by the end of the year, which is con­sid­er­ably higher than in the sec­ond half of 2016.

Ac­cord­ing to the H1 bud­get data, the pri­mary sur­plus amounted to 1.936 bil­lion eu­ros, against a pri­mary sur­plus of 1.632 bil­lion in the same pe­riod last year, and a tar­get for 431 mil­lion for the year to end-June.

Ex­pen­di­ture missed its tar­get by 1.15 bil­lion eu­ros, amount­ing to 22.86 bil­lion in the first half. Com­pared to last year it was down 757 mil­lion eu­ros. Hos­pi­tal fund­ing missed its tar­get by 265 mil­lion.

For­eign tourists’ av­er­age spend­ing per trip in the first five months of the year posted a de­cline of 1.5 per­cent from last year to reach 430.4 eu­ros, ac­cord­ing to Bank of Greece data. Travel re­ceipts came to 2.07 bil­lion eu­ros, up 0.9 per­cent on last year and down from 2.21 bil­lion in 2015.

Hos­pi­tal fund­ing missed its tar­get by 265 mil­lion eu­ros in the first half of the year.

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