The eight months of the last SYRIZA-Independent Greeks government was dominated by a steep fall in state revenues and the failure to make payments to third parties. It is in this difficult climate that the government will now have to table the first draft of the 2016 budget in Parliament by October 5, including changes to the economy’s fundamental figures both in expenditure and revenues.
The definitive figures concerning the execution of the budget in the year’s first eight months, which the Finance Ministry presented on Thursday, showed a 4.1-billion-euro drop in budget revenues and spending contained by 4.7 billion euros due to the halt in payments and the empty state coffers. The outcome of these adverse conditions is the creation of a nominal primary surplus of 3.8 billion euros in the year to end-August.
Net budget revenues amounted to 30.76 billion euros, lagging their target by 4.153 billion euros or 11.9 percent, of which 1.724 billion euros concerned the nonpayment of Greek bond yields by eurozone central banks. The property tax shortfall, which came about due to the postponement to the payment of the couple of installments of the Single Property Tax (ENFIA), was responsible for another 917 million euros.
Tax revenues were particularly low, missing the target by 3.3 billion euros, mainly due to the shortfalls in income tax from individuals (by 479 million euros) and companies (298 million), from non-fuel value-added tax (504 million) and the nonpayment of taxes from previous years (485 million). Tax rebates came to 1.77 billion euros, missing their target by 250 million euros.
Still, in August alone, revenues from taxes were within the target, amounting to 2.8 billion euros, while customs revenues lagged by 100 million euros. Still, for the budget to be executed as planned, the last four months of the year must fetch a total of 18.1 billion euros into state coffers.
State budget spending amounted to 31.87 billion euros in the January-August period, down 4.74 percent compared with the target.