ECONOMY

Tax reforms fail to create growth push

The General Confederation of Greek Small Businesses and Traders (GSEVEE) criticized the government’s proposed tax reforms, saying that they fail to introduce any growth measures at a time when the economy is struggling in a recession. GSEVEE called on the ruling Socialists to introduce changes that will help stem rising unemployment and fight bureaucracy. «The lack of any growth measures in the draft bill must be pointed out. This has occurred due to the government’s goal of securing higher tax income to cover the budget deficit,» the group said in a statement yesterday. A Cabinet meeting yesterday approved the reforms that had been put up for public debate for a period of more than three months. They are expected to be submitted to Parliament today. The barrage of tax changes, many of which will be applicable from the start of the year, include dropping favorable tax rates for certain professional groups and forcing taxpayers to qualify for a tax-free threshold by providing proof of their living expenses. The introduction of a 15 percent capital gains tax on stock market transactions and a 10 percent levy on luxury goods such as jewelry are also included in the reforms package. Prime Minister George Papandreou said that a lot of work lies ahead for the government in the implementation of the changes but left open the possibility of corrections being made to the tax law.