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  • Government insists counter-austerity measures to be implemented

    ‘The vast majority of counter-measures for 2019 and 2020 have already been legislated and implemented,’ finance ministry sources say.

    Having tabled a bill rescinding a legislated reduction of the tax-free threshold on personal income tax backed that was scheduled to take effect on 1 January, 2020, the government has said it plans to implement a series of counter-austerity measures that the PM had announced in the past.

    Though the State General Accounting Office has said the “counter-measures” intended to relieve poorer and more vulnerable social classes have been scrapped, the government insists that some have been implemented and others are in the pipeline.

    “The vast majority of counter-measures for 2019 and 2020 have already been legislated and implemented,” finance ministry sources say.

    They include the gradual reduction of business tax over four years from 29% to 25% (it fell to 28% this year), a reduction of the ENFIA real estate tax in certain lower income categories, a rent subsidy, a cut in insurance contributions for freelance professionals, the abolition of an entrepreneur’s tariff for farmers working in cooperatives, a reduction of corporate dividends taxes, and support for special education and help at home for the elderly and handicapped through the hiring of permanent employees.

    There is also a series of measures that are due to take effect on 1 January, 2020, if SYRIZA is re-elected in the 7 July parliamentary elections.

    Among the more prominent are the planned abolition of the solidarity contribution for taxpayers with an annual income of up to 20,000 euros annually and a reduction for higher income brackets, and a mean 20 percent reduction of the ENFIA real estate tax.

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