New year brings fresh challenges for over-burdened households

New year brings fresh challenges for over-burdened households

The new year is expected to bring fresh challenges for Greek households struggling to make ends meet, with new taxes and price hikes on a number of consumer products.

For salaried workers and pensioners, 2017 will see the introduction a new tax scale with a lower tax-free threshold and a higher so-called solidarity tax levied from all of their incomes for 2016, while property owners with tenants will pay as much as 36.4 percent more tax on the rent they receive.

The excise tax on petrol will increase by 3 cents per liter, from 0.67 to 0.70 euros, while diesel will rise by 8 cents per liter, from 0.33 to 0.41, and propane will go up 10 cents a liter from 0.33 to 0.43. This will push up retail prices, which are expected to reach an additional 5 cents per liter on petrol, 8 cents on diesel and 0.12-0.13 cents on liter for propane.

A hike also went into effect on January 1 on the special consumption tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products, pushing retail prices up by between 20 and 26 percent, while a new excise tax is also being levied on imported and domestically produced coffee, nudging up the price per kilo by 2-3 euros for roasted coffee and 4 euros per kilo for instant. Vapers will not be spared either, as a special consumption tax is being introduced on the liquids used in electronic cigarettes.

Meanwhile, consumers will also have to pay more their telecoms with the introduction a 5-percent tax on flat rates.

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