The state budget continued on its course toward a primary surplus overrun in October too, with Finance Ministry officials estimating this will top the 346 million euros estimated in next year’s budget and get quite close to 400 million instead for the whole of 2019.
The precise amount of the social dividend, or “growth dividend,” as Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently referred to it, will be for the prime minister to decide, likely next week after the submission of the final budget draft to Parliament on Thursday.,
The fiscal leeway available for the handout will be determined not only by the approximately 400 million euros primary surplus overrun, but also by 2019’s non-disbursed reserves, according to a ministry source. Kathimerini understands that the reserves amounted to 380 million euros when the government changed in July, but after spending such as the upcoming disbursement of the heating oil allowance (68 million euros), the 200-million-euro payment to Public Power Corporation for its subsidized service, and the safety cushion the ministry wants to hang on to, the available fiscal space is expected to come to 400 million euros by year-end.
Mitsotakis will also decide who will receive the handout, although there is strong support for this being distributed to the recipients of the social solidarity income.
The budget data for the first 10 months of the year, published yesterday, showed a primary surplus of 5.755 billion euros, against a target for 2.314 billion. That takes the overrun to 3.441 billion euros. After the first 10 months of last year, the primary surplus had stood at 3.811 billion, so there is an increase by 2 billion euros from last year – although this only refers to the budget and not the general government.
Revenues performed well in October too: Deputy Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis said, “October revenues beat their monthly target by 71 million euros, which matches the projections for the primary surplus reflected in the draft budget.” In total, net budget revenues exceeded their target by 1.666 billion in January-October.