The 2017 state budget was tabled in Greek Parliament on Monday, projecting a 1.8% primary surplus and 2.6 billion euros in new taxes.
According to a finance ministry official who spoke on the sidelines of the government’s negotiations with the representatives of creditors, the 2017 budget includes full funding for the newly established Social Solidarity Income amounting to 760 million euros.
According to the official, 300 million euros from the budget will be allocated to fund social interventions in health and education. He said that there is no fiscal gap in the budget and predicted a primary surplus of just over 1.8% of GDP, instead of the 1.7% creditors request.
The new budget includes new direct and excise taxes that will apply as of January 1, 2017.
New excise taxes will apply to fuel. Specifically, gasoline, petrol and natural gas will go up 3, 8 and 10 cents per liter respectively.
Also there will be higher taxes on cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes. New excise taxes of 2-3 euros per kilogram will apply to ground coffee and 4 euros per kilogram on instant coffee.
Telecommunications will be hit by new taxes as well, as a 5% duty will be added on telephone bills. The 5% increase will also have an additional 24% value added tax.
Finally, the reduced VAT status (-30%) that was applying to some Aegean islands will be abolished.
Greek Parliament President Nikos Voutsis said that the debate on the draft budget will begin before Parliament’s Financial Affairs Committee on Thursday and take place over four sessions. The debate before the plenum will begin on Tuesday, December 6 and end at midnight the following Saturday, December 10, with a roll call vote.
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