BUSINESS

Social security bill to fill 2014 state budget gap

Vroutsis says draft law will plug the 500-million-euro hole

Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis announced on Sunday that the new bill on social security will provide for the 500 million euros of cuts needed to cover the gap that Athens believes next year’s budget will produce. He also ensured that the retirement age is not going to change.

Speaking in an interview on Mega Channel, Vroutsis said the half-billion gap the government expects for 2014 will be covered through combatting social security contribution evasion, partly from employer declarations on staff payment, partly through electronic cross-checking and partly via the Social Security Contribution Collection Center. Cross-checking will also concern the benefits handed out by local authorities.

The minister said that companies with debts to social security funds will have their assets confiscated according to the legislation about the collection of public revenues.

He revealed that a debt collection company that is a bank subsidiary owes 7.5 million euros to the state.

Vroutsis further said there will be no cuts to pensions from healthy social security funds, despite the government’s pledge to reduce their non-salary costs to the level of the Social Security Foundation (IKA).

“This is a difficult equation, but I will exhaust all efforts so that the pensioners of that group do not get affected,” pledged the minister.

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