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Politicians cannot reach an agreement on the new tax law

01 December 2012 / 15:12:31  GRReporter
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At a meeting of Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras and Deputy Finance Minister George Mavraganis with representatives of New Democracy, PASOK and the Democratic Left, it was agreed that the three parties' proposals on the non-taxable minimum for children will be scrutinised. The government will seek a solution for the annulment of the non-taxable minimum provided in the tax bill. At the meeting, New Democracy opposed the annulment and insisted that families with children should not be further burdened by the new tax law. PASOK submitted a proposal for a 5% increase of the 1,950 euro tax reduction, provided in the new tax bill, for each child. Furthermore, it was proposed that the reduction of first home loans interest tax should not be completely annulled for families with children. A favourable tax environment for young freelancers of up to 30 years of age was also asked for, through a two-fold tax cut or through taxation according to the scale of workers on a labour contract. The Democratic Left's proposals are similar. Its representatives submitted a proposal for the increase of the rate of taxation on property for large estates as well as a small increase in deposit interest rates, so that the tax-free threshold for children won't be annulled.

Before the meeting, Yiannis Stournaras had stated that there were almost no possibilities for changes, and that if anyone offered the annulment of one thing, they would have to offer another thing to replace it. He said that he is "for" a dialogue and "for" the study of the various proposals.

New Democracy MP Adonis Georgiadis said that "cancellation of the non-taxable minimum for children is a mistake and we must find an alternative solution." In an interview for To Vima Radio, he explained that this annulment is far from the ideas of the democratic party for the protection of the family. Although the result for the economy would be enormous, around 100 million euro if funds are returned in accordance with revenues, as the government claims, in the end, this economic result will not be as effective. According to him, people should be motivated to earn more and higher taxes do exactly the opposite.

PASOK MP Christos Protopapas told Real Radio that the party will not vote the tax law, if the tax-free threshold for children is annulled. Thus, according to him, the average Greek family would be burdened.

The tripartite government is creating conditions for an even greater decline, SYRIZA emphasised in a statement, calling tax measures savagery of a neoliberal policy. According to the party, annulment of tax exemption for the weakest economic strata, revocation of the 5,000 euro tax-exempt minimum and of the non-taxable minimum for children, reduction of tax scales, 26% taxation for freelancers from the first euro, and ultra high taxation for small businesses, smallholders and farmers, are the pieces of the puzzle of an unprecedented economic cruelty.

Independent Greeks called the discussions about the tax bill "yet another theatrical performance of the government troupe." According to Notis Marias, the only sure result will be that the decline, number of businesses closed and unemployment will increase. He reminded the government that the vote on the bill is a commitment resulting from the recent decision of Eurogroup, which the government hastened to celebrate.

The press office of the Communist Party said that the new taxes that the government imposes on workers, poor owners, manufacturers and farmers in order to exempt large companies from taxes, are not temporary. According to the party, this is the main feature of the anti-popular policy which is being carried out in all European Union countries, and workers and poor strata should respond with an organised insurgency and a counter-attack for fundamental changes in the economy and power.

Tags: Yiannis Stournaras tax bill tax-free threshold Adonis Georgiadis Christos Protopapas
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