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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] No new tax in 2006, gov't spokesman says

  • [01] No new tax in 2006, gov't spokesman says

    Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said on Tuesday that in the budget for 2006 "no tax increase of any kind is anticipated."

    Roussopoulos also said that "the state is increasing tax revenues due to what is owed from the past. Many taxes are owed from the past by companies, businesses and in certain cases by private persons. In other words, the provision for an increase in revenues from taxation has to do, primarily, with what is owed. Otherwise, no new tax is anticipated in the budget for 2006."

    The spokesman was replying to a question that revenues are expected to increase by 7.7 percent compared to last year and due to the observation made by Costas Karamanlis on December 22, 2003, as the leader of the main opposition party, that taxes had more than trebled since 1992 while, on the other hand, the incomes of Greek families had not increased more than threefold over the same period.

    State pensions to rise more than wages, finmin says

    Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Tuesday that state pensions in the 2006 budget would rise higher than public sector salaries.

    In an interview to NET radio, the minister noted both categories would increase as much as possible under budgetary constraints.

    "Pensioners and wage earners will not carry the (economic) burden, as they did not last year. A very great effort will be made to reduce wasteful spending in the public sector, and to combat tax evasion, which has increased in recent years," he pledged.

    In addition, the government would not hike fuel tax if the market failed to normalise.

    "We are obliged to raise fuel tax by 20% on diesel and gasoline by 2009. The rise must be spread over coming years. Otherwise there would be great upheaval," Alogoskoufis said.

    "A 5.0% hike was due this year but it was not introduced due to the situation in the oil market," he added.

    GSEE slams 2006 budget

    The General Confederation of the Employees of Greece (GSEE) reiterated its criticism of the 2006 budget during a press conference on Tuesday.

    According to GSEE, the drastic cuts in public investments will limit their contribution to GDP growth, new jobs and the country's development overall.

    The trade union also said that increases for wage earners and pensioners will be below the rate of inflation thus cutting even deeper into citizens' purchasing power, since pensioners on the lowest pay scale can look forward to an increase of 0.50 per day, while low-salaried public sector employees will see their wages increase by only 0.60/day.

    As for the government's goal to reduce the deficit to 2.6% of GDP in 2006, GSEE believes that this will be achievable only through new tax measures of about 3.6 billion.

    GSEE reiterated its demands for a budget that is geared towards growth and redistribution of wealth, equal distribution of taxes and inflation-linked taxation.

    The trade union also released on Tuesday the findings of a survey conducted by Metron Analysis regarding public opinion on the government's economic and social policy.

    Of those surveyed, 50.6% do not agree with the government's handling of contract employees; 55.9% do not agree with the tax policy; 55.6% do not agree with the government's handling of pension reform; 59.5% are not satisfied with the government's efforts to combat the rising cost of living; while 63% are unhappy with the way the government is addressing unemployment.


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