ECONOMY

Last-minute push for 2010 revenues target

The Finance Ministry is launching a last-ditch 20-day drive to reach the target for total 2010 public revenues as provided for in the budget. Any deficit in revenues or excess in expenditure will burden the 2011 budget with fresh measures, beyond those already announced. For this month the government requires revenues of 5.9 billion euros to fulfill the requirements of the 2010 budget. That would mean a 13.2 percent increase over December 2009 revenues. In an effort to achieve this target, Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Kouselas met yesterday with the directors of the 27 biggest tax offices in Attica, which account for 70 percent of public revenues. He asked them to do their best to complete the tax amnesty process and to move ahead with all other debt collection procedures. The government is expecting to collect a total of 800 million euros by the end of the year from the settlement of outstanding tax debts spanning the last decade, while also awaiting revenue from the last installment of income tax. However, all this, along with certain other revenues such as road tax (expected to fetch about 1 billion euros) will take the figure to between 5.2 and 5.5 billion euros, well below the 5.9-billion-euro target. When the tax returns are also calculated, amounting to about 0.5 billion euros, this falls to barely 5 billion. The ministry is particularly concerned about the low revenues from value-added tax, resulting from a large drop in consumption.