ΑΤΗΕΝS — Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on Monday presented in detail the seven priorities and six goals of the support measures announced by the Prime Minister during his speech in Thessaloniki on Saturday. The FinMin noted that government measures to support households and enterprises totaled 42.7 billion euros in the 2020-2022 period.
More specifically, the first priority is the return of the real economy to normality with a focused support of households and enterprises. The second priority is the continuation of a prudent fiscal policy aimed to further cut taxes and social insurance contributions, the third priority is the continue implementing a smart and insightful strategy of debt issuance aimed at preserving strong cash reserves currently more than 40 billion euros. In this context, the government will regularly access money and capital markets, preparing an early repayment of part of bilateral loans signed between Greece and Eurozone countries in 2010, a further repayment of IMF loans and creating a framework to issue "green" and "sustainable growth" bonds.
A fourth priority is to boost liquidity in the real economy by extending the "Hercules" programme, offering more flexible ways for debt repayment, offering a second chance to individuals and enterprises and exploiting funds worth 12.7 billion euros from the Recovery Fund.
A fifth priority is the implement infrastructural changes and exploiting state assets. A 6th priority is a rational exploitation of available EU funds, worth 78 billion euros, by 2027. A 7th priority is the active participation of the country in inititiatives towards a new European economic architecture which will safeguard long-term sustainability of public finances, offering at the same time the maximum flexibiity in dealing with crises, protecting and encouraging public investments particularly in priority sectors such as green and digital transition.
Staikouras said these priorities will serve six economic goals 1. Achieving high and sustainable economic growth rates starting this year. 2. Improving the composition of GDP with a significant increase in investments and exports. 3. Exiting an enhanced surveillance status in 2022. 4. Achieving single-digit figures for non-performing loans in 2022. 5. Achieving realistic primary surpluses from 2023. 6. Regaining an investment grade in 2023.
Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, together with Alternate Minister Thodoros Skylakakis and Deputy Minister Apostolos Vesyropoulos, said that the abolition of tax on parental gifts of property, cash and shares of up to 800,000 euros was a measure promoting growth.
He also said that the rules for the return of the returnable advance given to businesses to tide them through lockdowns mean that 28 pct of businesses will return one quarter of the sum received, 39 pct will return one third and 33 pct will return 50 pct. There is also a 15 pct discount for those that return the sums due by December 31, 2021, otherwise the sum is paid back in 60 installments from January 2022.
In addition, as an incentive for electronic transactions that will apply from January 1, 2022 until 2025, 30 pct of electronic spending for 18 categories of professional services will be subtracted from taxable income, up to the sum of 5,000 euros. These will include lawyers, architects, private detectives, funeral homes, air-conditioning, heating and plumbing contractors, nurses, carpenters, cleaning and building maintenance, childcare, car rental, taxis, aluminum workers, tailors and clothing repair, photographers and other freelance occupations.
Receipts from doctors, dentists and vets will count doubly toward the 30 pct income limit that tax payers must cover with electronic receipts to not have to pay additional tax, but not the cost of pharmaceuticals and hospital bills.
There will also be a complete overhaul of the 'tax lottery' where 1,000 tax payers can win up to 1,000 euros each with every lottery draw. The new system will increase the chances of winning for those on lower incomes and the prizes will rise each month and reach up to 50,000 euros. In addition, there will be a speciall lottery at Christmas with prizes of up to 100,000 euros.
There will be a discount for green and digital investments and incentives for mergers and takeovers.
The government will increase the heating oil subsidy by 20 pct.