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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-08-26

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus approved the first of two packages of austerity measures aiming at fiscal consolidation.

    Specifically, the House approved six bills and one proposal which included a two-year (instead of three year) sliding scale contribution for civil servants and employees in the broader public sector earning over 1.500 euros.

    A permanent contribution from the pension funds of public sector and broader public sector employees was set to 3 per cent from 2.5 of the gross income after a proposal by opposition parties the Democratic Rally, the Democratic Party and the European Party.

    The House ratified the bill providing for increasing the contribution to the widows and orphans fund from 0.75% to 2%, the creation of an additional taxation scale of 35% for persons with an income of 60,000 euros or more and increasing the immovable property tax.

    The 56-seat House also passed into law an increase of the tax on dividends from 15 to 17% and a 5.0 per cent increase of tax on interest from deposits to 15%.

    The 2.0 per cent rise in VAT to 17% was postponed.

    The package of austerity measures, aims to save the government 750 million euros, and comes after a week of intense negotiations with the social partners and political parties.

    Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias earlier Friday pledged to submit a second package of measures by mid September which will aim at saving a further 360 million euros by means-testing social benefits, introducing tighter measures on tax evasion, reducing civil service starting salaries, and freezing twice yearly index-linked salaries for 2012.

    Opposition parties were reluctant to approve a VAT hike, saying it would affect lower income groups.

    The House will reconvene on September 15.

    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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