BUSINESS

State fails to pay up, gets large surplus

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance

The primary budget surplus in January-August would have been 1.3 billion euros smaller if the Finance Ministry had paid the tax rebates due to enterprises and taxpayers and met the spending targets of the Public Investments Program – which the government has frozen.

The data issued on Monday by the General State Accounting Office show that, according to the budget targets, the government should have invested some 923 million euros more, while 402 million euros in tax rebates have yet to be paid out.

Therefore the primary surplus should have amounted to 1.83 billion euros, instead of the announced amount of 3.157 billion, against a target for 917 million in the first eight months of the year.

Another point of concern for the Finance Ministry is the takings from income tax, which have been reduced by 337 million euros in the same period.

Ministry officials claim this is nothing to be concerned about, as the postponement of the payment of corporate tax has created a temporary hole in revenues.

Still, last year the government had said something similar, but the budget ended the year with a tax revenue shortfall of more than 1 billion euros.

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