Spending cuts prettify budget data
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.