ATHENS – Greece’s new Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition’s hopes of restoring social benefits and ending austerity have taken another hit with news that tax revenues are plummeting.
The Finance Ministry figures showed that the revenues in the first two months of the year were 7.3 billion euros, 1.1 billion euros short of a target estimate and just as SYRIZA took office with a promise to restore pay, cut taxes, raise pensions and re-hire fired workers.
The dismal showing forced the government to cut spending instead of increasing it, with plans to slow or stop paying suppliers and vendors or send out tax refunds. The primary surplus goal for the two months was 168 millions short.
That figure shows revenues minus interest on debt, the cost of running cities and towns, state enterprises, social security and so military expenditures.
The February shortfall was smaller than that of January because of extension granted for the payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT) and the two installments that most taxpayers chose for VAT repayment.
The data is worrying because Greece is locked in tough talks with international lenders who want more reforms and austerity, which the new government had resisted before being forced to relent.Source: The National Herald