ECONOMY

A second wave of support measures

a-second-wave-of-support-measures

The fresh Covid-19 restrictions to apply as of Tuesday will also bring new measures for the support of enterprises and workers. As government spokesman Stelios Petsas said, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will announce further measures in addition to the horizontal ones applying to all sectors of the economy.

Government sources say there will probably be an improved version of the measures implemented in the first wave of the pandemic, concerning the special-purpose compensation, the suspension of tax obligations and the mandatory reduction of rents, as well as the extension of state loans to freelancers and enterprises.

1. Compensation: Workers employed at enterprises forced to shut down upon state order or hurt by the health crisis will receive the special-purpose handout of 534 euros each per month, an amount that may increase.

2. Tax obligations: After the six-month suspension of the September value-added tax payment (due in October) for areas color-coded red (or Level 4) on the country’s risk-assessment map, the measure will be extended to orange areas (Level 3).

3. Rent cut: As the areas where the mandatory 40% rent reduction for companies affected by the pandemic (i.e. those on Level 4) are growing, the measures may be expanded across the board. The same already applies to primary residences and the homes of students and workers on furlough. Landlords get a 30% rebate from the state in the form of tax reduction.

4. “Deposit To Be Returned”: After the completion of the third phase of the state loans issued on favorable terms to enterprises and self-employed professionals, the fourth will follow in December and a fifth from January, on even more favorable terms, with beneficiaries having to return only 50%-70% of the loans, depending on the pandemic’s level in their area. The percentage of funding to be returned might drop.

5. New debt settlement: A new set of arrangements will begin soon so as to cover all taxpayers who have either failed to pay off their debts during the pandemic or been unable to stick to payment programs. The new framework will provide for a new special arrangement in 12 interest-free tranches or 24 installments with an interest rate of 2.5% for the March-June 2020 obligations, which might be expanded to later dues too.

The government is also planning interventions that will concern 2021, such as maintaining the reduced corporate income tax deposit, to be announced toward the end of 2020.