BUSINESS

Slump in takings from 'blokakia'

ROULA SALOUROU, PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance

Of a likely figure of 100,000 or more, just 12,000 employees have been declared by their employers as being paid through invoice books for services rendered (known as “blokakia”) on the online platform of the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA), which goes a long way toward explaining the decline in budget revenues in the first quarter of the year.

The data are disappointing and are generating concern at the Finance and Labor ministries in spite of the “satisfactory course” of the new pension fund’s total revenues.

Employers’ declarations on the new platform barely reach the number of 12,000 workers with one or two employers. Although this is the first time this category is being recorded officially, experts note that workers offering salaried labor who are paid through “blokakia” probably total more than 100,000. This practically means that thousands of workers with blokakia have either ceased their activity (i.e. have been fired) or have undertaken the entire load of their social security contributions being insured as freelance workers, or they have not yet issued an invoice and remain unpaid.

According to Finance Ministry data, revenues from tax withheld from payments via blokakia were down 150 million euros in the first quarter of the year. Ministry officials estimate that the amount collected from the tax withheld will continue to drop each month as a result of the high social security contributions and due to the cessation of activity by 120,000 freelance workers. This was already evident in 2016, with the slide in state revenues from this source to 763.92 million euros against 829.98 million in 2015. This means that the declared incomes dropped from 4.15 billion in 2015 to 3.82 billion euros last year.

Friday is the deadline for the submission of March contributions and not a single pay notice has yet been uploaded for any of the 1.4 million self-employed, farmers and freelance workers, which points to an extension of one more month.

Online