Controversial heating oil tax increase turns out to be a failure

According to official figures of the State Treasury, the controversial increase of the tax on heating oil appears to have been a failure…

According to official divs of the State Treasury, the controversial increase of the tax on heating oil appears to have been a failure, as state revenue suffered as a result of the hike.

In the 2012-2013 winter season the tax hike resulted in a 300 million euro shortfall of tax revenue, with heating oil consumption dropping by a significant 71% compared to the 2011-2012 winter season. Heating oil purchases were down by 66.6% in the winter of 2013-2014 and tax revenue was well bellow targets.

An unnamed high-ranking Ministry of Finances officer commented on Thursday morning that the Ministry must reexamine the tax since it has failed to meet its goals.

The officer’s comments were in direct contradiction to the solemn comments of former Ministers of Finances and Health, Yannis Stournaras and Adonis Georgiadis, on Christmas Day of 2013 that the tax hike was a complete success. It should be noted that Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras differentiated himself and argued that the tax must be reduced.

The Ministry of Finances will negotiate the possibility of reducing taxes when the troika returns to Athens in autumn, with the Greek side banking on the bailout clause that provides tax cuts in cases of consistently exceeding revenue targets.

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