NEWS

PM to herald more relief to businesses

pm-to-herald-more-relief-to-businesses

In a bid to provide further support to businesses that have been hard hit by the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is on Friday expected to announce a series of relief measures, including the freezing of tax debts to the state until the end of the year and a reduction of the corporate tax deposit for 2021 for loss-making enterprises. 

According to government spokesman Stelios Petsas, Mitsotakis will make the announcements in Parliament on Friday in response to a question tabled by Fofi Gennimata, leader of the Movement for Change (KINAL).

Petsas said the announcements would relate to the state subsidy program for part-time labor, known as Syn-Ergasia, as well as employers’ social security contributions and a “bold reduction in corporate tax.”

According to sources, the government is planning to tweak the Syn-Ergasia program so that it not only covers part of employees’ lost salaries but also subsidizes the creation of new jobs as unemployment has edged up during the lockdown. In the context of this program, the government is also planning to extend beyond July the state’s subsidizing of 60 percent of employers’ social security contributions. 

Another key intervention on the cards is the planned extension of a freeze on tax and social security debts, which had been due to expire between September and October, through the end of February. 

As regards the corporate tax deposit for 2021, it could be reduced by up to 100 percent for enterprises and sectors that are loss-making. 

Government plans also include a third phase of the Deposit To Be Returned loan program, which to a great extent will concern seasonal enterprises in the tourism industry which have been particularly badly affected by the pandemic. 

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told Skai Radio on Thursday that a decision on a third phase of the loan program is not expected until August, once authorities have data for the full first half of the year at their disposal. A total of 100,000 businesses are expected to benefit from the second phase of the program, which issued more than 1 billion euros in loans.

Another 1 billion euros in loans was issued to businesses in the first phase of the program during the first few weeks of the lockdown.