Gov’t readies two sets of handouts

Gov’t readies two sets of handouts

The government is considering the distribution of two handout packages worth over 1.6 billion euros after the end of the bailout program later this month.

The handouts will come out of the excessive primary budget surpluses of 2018 and 2019, and an effort will also be made to avoid implementing the pension cuts due as of January 2019.

The first package, which may exceed 720 million euros, is expected to be announced at the Thessaloniki International Fair and will concern tax exemptions of a permanent character, starting from 2019 and based on the projected excess in next year’s primary surplus.

Kathimerini understands there will also be a second round of handouts from this year’s excessive primary surplus that will be a one-off “social dividend,” similar to that distributed in 2016 and 2017, as this year’s budget is expected to create a margin for handouts of 900 million euros. That is seen happening between October and November, when the creditors’ first post-bailout inspection takes place, so that their reaction to the handouts can be taken into account.

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