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Greek Gov't Cuts Down on Public Investments to Pay Social Dividend

The Greek government has frozen the Public Investments Program in order to pay the social dividend worth 1.4 billion euros promised by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, a Kathimerini newspaper report says.
Based on figures for the January-October period provided by the State Treasury, the Public Investments Program is down by 1.087 billion euros. As for the 3.06 billion euros allocated for public investments; only 1.97 billion euros have been used.
The State Treasury assures that the total amount of 6.75 billion euros for public investments will be spent by the end of the year. However; the Kathimerini report says, the government claimed the same last year and by the end of 2016 the total amount of public investments was 460 million euros less than the amount allocated. The writer of the report notes that last years’ social dividend that was given out was 614 million euros, meaning that two thirds came from the reduction of public investments.
However; the Greek government claims that the social dividend is given because revenue targets were surpassed.
According to Kathimerini, state budget expenditures for the January-October 2017 period amounted to 40,428 billion euros; reduced by 2,940 billion euros against  target.
Regular budget expenditure amounted to 38,449 billion euros; down by 1,852 billion against the target. Specifically, expenditure reductions against the target were from hospital subsidies (101 million euros); social solidarity subsidies (157 million); contribution to the Greek State to protect the main residence from foreclosure (73 million), and defense programs (51 million).
In October, state budget expenditure amounted to 4,074 billion euros; down by 622 million euros compared to the monthly target. Regular budget expenditure amounted to 3,872 million; down by 256 million euros compared to the monthly target.
The proposal for the distribution of the social dividend is to be tabled in parliament today (Wednesday) with opposition parties complaining that the social dividend is not a result of exceeding revenue targets, but the result of overtaxing Greek citizens.

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