Tax relief for Greeks? Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t

ATHENS – After saying there was not enough money to provide Greek households struggling with rising energy, food and petrol costs, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras , said there might be some after all.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has shifted his focus from the lingering COVID-19 pandemic to accelerating economic recovery after his New Democracy government poured tens of billions of euros into helping laid-off workers and shutting down businesses during the closures.

Today, assistance is offered for up to 80% of the cost of electricity bills which have almost doubled, exacerbated by the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which is still continuing, affecting world markets.

Staikouras said on Saturday that his ministry was “looking for fiscal space” for new support measures in July, to relieve the pressure of rising costs for households, Kathimerini said of the shift in the government’s positions. government.

He said the ministry will know by the end of June if more can be done to tackle rising fuel prices, but added ‘not much can be done’ about the tax unified on the fuel which, according to him, cannot be reduced.

“If we were to reduce this tax by 20 euro cents, the overall cost for the state would reach 20 billion euros,” he said, with most of the cost of gasoline for consumers being taxes.

He said buffers had been spent to reduce the hated ENFIA land surcharge and electricity bill costs, despite the government embezzling an untold sum of 32 billion euros (34, $3 billion) towards telecommunications and 5G projects instead of helping consumers.

He also said cutting a solidarity tax that forced workers to pay benefits to the most vulnerable would cost an additional 450 million euros ($482.35 million) as an additional drain on resources.

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