FINANCE

Plan sees extra help for households in 2022

plan-sees-extra-help-for-households-in-2022

More support measures are set to be added to the government’s plans for next year, with the Finance Ministry currently seeking the funds to finance its “3+2 billion-euro” package for the 2022-23 period.

The aim is to front-load the package – i.e. have €3 billion channeled into the market next year to support growth further, and include measures of a permanent character – even if next year’s interventions bear a “temporary” tag. 

Most decisions will be finalized in the coming days so that the prime minister can make the full announcement at the Thessaloniki International Fair.

On top of the measures already decided and scheduled – corporate tax reduction, freezing the private sector’s solidarity levy in 2022 too, and the maintenance of reduced social security contribution rates – more interventions are now anticipated with a total budget of €1 billion; nevertheless, they will only be temporary and are seen helping with the current period’s problems.

The first will likely be the further reduction of social security contributions: After the cuts of 3.9 percentage points planned, an extra reduction of 0.6 percentage points will come at the start of next year, followed in mid-2022 by another 0.5 points in supplementary social security rates.

Another likely intervention will be measures to combat energy poverty. With value-added tax on power at the bare minimum of 6%, the government is opting for direct subsidies to the most vulnerable households for their electricity bills, and the expansion of heating oil and gas subsidies.

A further option is the reduction of the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) rates, with the government already announcing an 8% average cut, costing some €200-250 million per annum. This is also meant to offset the rise in properties’ objective values, used for tax purposes.

The ministry is also contemplating an extension – by three months at least – of the “Gefyra” program, against the creation of new bad loans, as well as interventions in indirect taxation – i.e. special consumption taxes and VAT – in order to absorb part of the retail price hikes coming to the market because of the international commodity rate unrest. These interventions will be targeted to benefit consumers.