ECONOMY

State spending misses target due to May handouts

State spending misses target due to May handouts

State budget expenditure exceeded the target in the year’s first five months. This was not because spending on the Public Investments Program went according to plan – it didn’t – but rather due to the government handouts.

The State General Accounting Office confirmed on Tuesday that spending in January-May 2019 was 255 million euros off target, at 21.94 billion euros compared to a projected 21.69 billion. The office’s statement said this was due to the 971 million euros transferred to the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA) for the payment of the so-called 13th pension. This was offset in the budget by the 982 million euros of credit originally set aside to cover any one-off payments to special wage grids. PIP spending was 140 million euros below target.

Increased takings from the Athens Airport concession and the eurozone central banks’ bond earnings led to a primary surplus of 916 million euros.