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  • Editorial: The annihilation of the middle class

    Most people try as best they can to afford the basics and if there is any money left over they pay their taxes and insurance contributions.

    ΤοΒΗΜΑ Team
    Ï õðïøÞöéïò äÞìáñ÷ïò Ðáýëïò ÃåñïõëÜíïò óôç ëáéêÞ áãïñÜ óôá ÐåôñÜëïíá. (EUROKINISSI/ ÃÉÁÍÇÓ ÐÁÍÁÃÏÐÏÕËÏÓ)

    Even without the confirmation of a report issued by the OECD, everyone knows that Greece is among the most heavily taxed countries.

    According to the data released yesterday 41 percent of employees’ salaries go to taxes and insurance contribution and the percentage is rising.

    This is happening even as salaries are constantly falling and as a consequence the middle class has nearly been wiped off the map.

    According to the OECD, Greece and Hungary are the two European countries in which 70 percent of middle class households cannot afford unexpected expenses and so the income of the middle class has dropped nearly to the level of the weaker segment of society.

    Over-taxation is a conscious choice of the government and its purpose is to overreach surplus targets so that Mr. Tsipras can hand out some paltry benefits and don the mantle of the protector of the poor.

    Greeks are confronted with a policy which instead of investing in growth, the restructuring of the productive base, and job creation opts for the well known left-wing tactic of over-taxation.

    That policy leads most households to an impasse as they are unable to meet their obligations.

    Most people try as best they can to afford the basics and if there is any money left over they pay their taxes and insurance contributions. That is why the number of people in that category is burgeoning and the government’s promises of new favourable repayment arrangements perpetuate the impasse.

    The services of the state do not correspond to the level of taxation and as a result citizens resort to tax evasion and scorn the political system.

    Undoubtedly the country needs a new mix of policies which will respect the country’s obligations and restraints on fiscal policy, which will not focus exceedingly on taxes, and which will stimulate economic growth.

     

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