File Photo: A flag of the European Union flies on the Acropolis hill, across the Parthenon. EPA, ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU
“The pre-legislated pension cuts will not be applied as of January 1, while the package of positive measures will be higher than the 765 million euros listed in the draft budget,” a senior government official said on Tuesday.
The same official said that the package of positive measures closed last week.
Based on the draft budget that the Finance Ministry sent to the European Commission on October 15 for the European Semester, the positive measures that the government will apply as of 2019 (and reportedly estimated at around 965 million euros) include:
* The introduction of a new rent and housing subsidy scheme with income and property criteria.
* Reductions in self-employed and farmers’ insurance contributions by 1/3 and the application of the minimum income base for supplementary pensions and benefits.
* The subsidy to social security contributions for young workers. The measure will cover young people up to 24 years old and will consist of a 100 pct subsidy for employees’ contributions and a 50 pct subsidy for employers’ contributions.
* The reduction of Uniform Real Estate Tax ENFIA by 10 pct.
* The reduction of income tax for legal persons. The measure consists of gradually reducing the rate of taxation from 29 pct to 25 pct over a four-year horizon and will have a budgetary impact from 2020 onwards.
* The reduction in the tax rate of dividends. The measure concerns the reduction of the tax rate on distributed profits by 5 percentage points and will have a financial impact from 2020 onwards.
* The home assistance programme. The current working status of 3,000 fixed-term workers is converted to an indefinite time.
* Strengthening special education and training schools.