Draft budget to set out gov’t intention not to cut pensions, spokesman says

Draft budget to set out gov’t intention not to cut pensions, spokesman says

The draft budget for 2019, which is to be submitted to Parliament on Monday, will reflect the current fiscal "environment" as well as the government's intention to substitute planned cuts to pensions with other measures, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told reporters. 

"We have already clearly stated that the measure of cutting pensions is not necessary for the achievement of a primary budget surplus target of 3.5 percent," Tzanakopoulos said. 

"We have explained — and this will be reflected in the budget — that even without the implementation of the pension cuts there is enough fiscal space to allow the implementation of the measures pledged by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at last month's Thessaloniki International Fair, chiefly tax cuts and social benefits. 

A cost analysis of the measure will be determined during an examination of the budget by European Commission officials, he said.  

On Sunday, Tzanakopoulos had told Athens 984 radio station that the draft will likely “include different scenarios."

The blueprint, which is to be perused by the European Commission later this month, will present one scenario including the “likely implementation of the measures and the countermeasures to show that they do not affect the primary surplus target,” the spokesman said, referring to the cuts which are to due to come into effect on January 1 and social benefits the government has pledged for Greeks on low incomes.

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