ECONOMY

Government ponders handout options for surplus

government-ponders-handout-options-for-surplus

The state budget recorded a primary surplus of 5.73 billion euros in the first 10 months of the year, though value-added tax and income tax collections are in negative territory. The surplus has been restored through other sources of revenues (special consumption taxes, property taxes etc) that helped January-October revenues beat their target by 95 million euros.

The course of revenues is reducing the prospects of an expanded “social dividend,” with the government currently examining new scenarios focused on vulnerable social groups. Finance Ministry sources argue that one of the government’s priorities is people with disabilities, who in previous years were financially challenged and in some cases did not even have sufficient access to healthcare.

Another priority is households with four or more children, provided that their annual income does not exceed 10,000-12,000 euros. An increase in the heating oil subsidy for the current recipients is also possible.

Projections put the primary budget surplus at 1.59 billion euros above that of the first 10 months of last year; this is mainly thanks to the containment of state expenditure that lagged last year’s by 1.5 billion euros.