World Bank calls for cuts to tax breaks, benefits

World Bank calls for cuts to tax breaks, benefits

The World Bank has provided a list to Greece’s Finance Ministry with a number of tax breaks and benefits that it believes Athens should scrap, Kathimerini understands.

The World Bank has taken on a key role in helping Greece reform its welfare system as part of its bailout program.

It has identified more than 100 different types of benefits that are awarded to insured or unemployed Greeks. These include handouts such as subsidized summer camps for applicants’ children.

Other items include discounts on medicines, which are estimated to cost the state 100 to 120 million euros a year.

The Labor and Finance ministries are examining which of these benefits could be eliminated by focusing on the recipients and whether their incomes justify the assistance.

The World Bank also suggests that the government needs to re-examine the heating oil subsidy as it appears that the benefit does not always end up being used by the people it is intended for.

However, sources noted that the international organization has not called for cuts to family benefits as it believes that the total spending in this area is below the levels needed for a contemporary child support system.

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