House speaker defends reduction of politicians’ solidarity tax


House speaker Nikos Voutsis on Tuesday defended a provision that will see politicians paying up to 2,000 euros less a year for the so-called solidarity tax.

“This provision was part of the tax law that was presented to Parliament and was not the result of demands from lawmakers or other political staff,” Voutsis said. “It is part of the general framework of balancing public finances.”

Voutsis was responding to criticism in the wake of a report in Eleftheros Typos newspaper saying that Parliament in May approved a provision reducing the percentage of the solidarity tax withheld from the salaries of the president, the prime minister, all ministers, ministry general secretaries, lawmakers, regional governors and mayors, among others.

May’s provision overturned a law passed in 2014 requiring politicians to pay 8 percent of their salaries in the special tax, which was introduced in 2011, bringing the levy in line with the 1-4 percent paid by regular taxpayers.