FinMin Staikouras: Government examining ‘judicious’ tax cuts

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras on Thursday referred to the possibility of ‘judicious tax cuts” and an ‘examination’ of sectors with special features, such as tourism, catering, transport and culture.

Speaking to radio Thema 104.6, the minister stated that “judicious tax reductions are in our thoughts,” adding that there are other issues under evaluation as a reduction of the pre-payment of taxes and VAT on transport. “However, if we add them up the numbers do not tally. There will be measures for the whole of the economy and sectora measures. We are doing the best possible with our eyes on the post-coronavirus era,” he said.

He said that the support of employees will continue in May for the businesses that remain closed or for those employees still under suspension.

Staikouras said that he hopes Greece will receive 1.5 billion euros from the SURE programme from June onwards in order to boost employment and this will run in parallel with the contracts suspension programme.

On the course of state revenues, the minister said that “the citizens are paying and I want to thank them publicly for this, because they showing conscientiousness with many of them taking advantage of the incentives from the state. The loss of revenues in April will be less than 30 percent and this will mean a shortfall but not a collapse of revenues in a month when we were in lockdown.” The minister also predicted that Greece will have to rely on its own cash reserves until early July as the European Union has not yet disbursed even a single euro and there there will be a time lag in the inflow of community funds.

Finally, commenting the European Commission’s Spring report on the Greek economy, he said that “the recession has a V form and the recovery in 2021 in Greece will be the highest in the eurozone”.