ECONOMY

Revenues, revision causing headache

The economic recession, in combination with over-the-top estimates for budget revenues and the recent upward revision to the deficit, is creating headaches for the Finance Ministry in its plans to introduce additional measures to support goals in the memorandum agreed to with the country?s international creditors.

Variations in the current budget targets are estimated to reach 5.5 to 6 billion euros, which will be covered by upping revenues and cutting spending.

Less than expected income tax paid by businesses and workers, delays in the draft bill regulating games of chance, an inability to catch tax cheats, delays in adjusting tax values imposed on properties and the latest revision to the deficit are just a few of problems the government is being called upon to handle.

In regard to income tax paid by businesses, the budget targets revenues of 2.8 billion euros.

Finance Ministry services estimate that it could miss the annual target by as much as 1 billion euros since many businesses in 2010 declared losses or low earnings.

The budget target for revenues from workers has been set as 10.6 billion euros. It is noteworthy that last year, taxes collected from workers were budgeted at 9.95 billion euros while the amount actually raised was 9.43 billion.

Finance Ministry sources consider the 10.6-billion-euro target as being unattainable for this year given that reduction seen across may workers groups, including public sector employees.

Another obstacle seen hindering the ministry in its efforts to meet this year?s budgetary goals is the delay in issuing games of chance. This is now likely to be pushed back to 2012.