Disabled to be given VAT break

A decision by the government to begin a lengthy process to change the law so disabled people can pay less value-added tax (VAT) for a number of vital items is a welcome move, groups representing people with special needs in Greece told Sunday’s Kathimerini. The Economy and Finance Ministry is due to contact the Union of Disabled People (UDB) this week in an effort to compile a list of the items that are vital to disabled people, such as wheelchairs and hearing aids. The ministry intends to reduce the VAT rate from 19 to 9 percent on these items. «We know that exemption from VAT is not possible, but even a reduction would be a savior for us,» Yiannis Vardakastanis, president of UDB, told Sunday’s Kathimerini. However, the process toward achieving this goal is likely to prove lengthy as any change in VAT policy needs to be cleared with the European Union first. Ministry sources said that they expect a positive reply from Brussels sometime this fall so that the measure can be implemented in Greece.

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