Bud­get fears as revenues slump

Pri­mary sur­plus misses tar­get for the first time this year, pro­vi­sional fig­ures for Jan­uary-Au­gust show

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

Be­low-tar­get revenues in the first eight months of the year have led to the cre­ation of a 1.7-bil­lion-euro hole in the bud­get, ac­cord­ing to the State Gen­eral Ac­count­ing Of­fice, which for the first time this year has brought the pri­mary sur­plus be­low the tar­get of the midterm fis­cal plan, al­beit marginally: It amounted to 3.55 bil­lion eu­ros, against 3.573 bil­lion pro­vided for in the bud­get.

The pro­vi­sional fig­ures re­leased yes­ter­day showed that the bud­get revenues missed their tar­get by 1.759 bil­lion eu­ros, with tax revenues and tak­ings from pri­va­ti­za­tions sorely off course, while tax re­bates were found to have ex­ceeded their tar­get by 400 mil­lion eu­ros.

The short­fall in tax revenues be­fore re­bates amounted to 944 mil- lion eu­ros, which the Fi­nance Min­istry at­trib­uted to peo­ple putting off paying the first tranche of the Sin­gle Prop­erty Tax (ENFIA) from Au­gust to Septem­ber, ac­count­ing for an amount of about 1 bil­lion eu­ros.

The de­fin­i­tive data that will be is­sued in the next 10 days will in­di­cate the pre­cise ex­tent of the prob­lem in bud­get revenues, but the pro­vi­sional fig­ures are likely to have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the ne­go­ti­a­tions with the coun­try’s cred­i­tors that be­gin next month. It is likely that the cred­i­tors, par­tic­u­larly the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, will de­mand ad­di­tional mea­sures for next year for the coun­try to meet the tar­get of a pri­mary sur­plus of 3.5 per­cent of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct.

Septem­ber fig­ures, which will be re­leased early next month, will give 790.97 1.1885 a clearer pic­ture of the course of the bud­get’s im­ple­men­ta­tion. They will show whether the ap­prox­i­mately 650,000 tax­pay­ers who failed to pay their first in­stall­ment of in­come tax in July have done so by end-Septem­ber along with the sec­ond tranche, or if they have en­tered a 12-tranche pay­ment plan. They will also show how many prop­erty own­ers have paid their first ENFIA tranche.

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