ECONOMY

Surprise in November’s tax revenues

surprise-in-november-amp-8217-s-tax-revenues

Tax revenues in the month of November were quite a surprise for the Finance Ministry, as they ended up a remarkable 521 million euros over the target set in the 2021 budget.

Nevertheless, Alternate Finance Minister Thodoros Skylakakis on Wednesday appeared reserved about the near future: He stated that the November development may help public coffers, but “the blow we are expecting from the lockdown and its extension will emerge [over a longer period] and will affect the revenues of December and the months to follow.”

The expenditure side showed a significant shortfall in the Public Investments Program in the first 11 months of 2020, amounting to 1 billion euros (€8.4 billion against a target for €9.4 billion), which is mainly attributed to the failure to carry out all the projects co-funded by the state budget.

According to a ministry source, the better-than-expected performance of tax revenues in November, which amounted to 3.596 billion euros, was thanks to October being a relatively good month for tourism and the support of enterprises via the cheap state loans program that allowed them to meet their tax obligations.

The ministry data, which were issued on Wednesday, showed that the state budget recorded a primary deficit of 13.8 billion euros over the first 11 months of the year, against a primary surplus of €6.9 billion in January-November 2019.

Net state revenues in the year to end-November came to 42 billion euros, €745 million above the revised target in the 2021 budget, “which is attributed to the increased revenues of the Public Investments Program as well as to the increased takings from taxes due to the fact that the impact from the measures taken to handle the second wave of the health crisis was not as front-heavy as was originally thought,” according to the ministry.

The program’s revenues amounted to 4.85 billion euros, €331 million above the target.

State budget expenditure in January-November came to 60.4 billion euros, €779 million below the revised target, which again is attributed to the Public Investments Program’s €1.012 billion spending shortfall.