BUSINESS

Poorest section of population has benefited most from ENFIA cut

EIRINI CHRYSOLORA

TAGS: Taxation, Finance

The weaker financial classes stand to benefit the most from the 2020 budget, having already enjoyed the biggest benefit this year from the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) cuts, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.

Addressing the Economic Affairs Committee, which is examining next year’s budget, Staikouras said last year’s horizontal cut to ENFIA dues “gave much to many,” but especially the weakest financially, as well as the middle classes.

“The reduction seen by 7.2 million citizens with properties worth up to 500,000 euros accounted for 86 percent of the total tax relief. Those owning properties up to 200,000 euros enjoyed 67 percent of the total reduction. At the same time, 474,000 Greeks with a property worth in excess of 200,000 euros have benefited from the cuts this year, while according to the previous government’s regulation they would have had no benefit at all,” Staikouras said.

He went on to cite a study by the ministry’s Economic Experts Council, according to which the 2019 ENFIA reduction was conducted in such a way as to provide the greatest benefit to the poorest 10 percent of the population.

Staikouras further explained that the 2020 tax cuts will benefit everyone, with the weakest once again standing to benefit the most in proportional terms. He stated that “for declared incomes of up to 8,500 euros, the total tax burden will be reduced by 20 percent on average. By contrast, the reduction for incomes above 26,000 euros amounts to less than 10 percent.”

He also refuted the opposition’s claim that the government has moved away from its objective to reduce the primary surplus targets, saying that the issue is instead being handled without making any noise, the discussion has started and that “conditions are maturing.”

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