Even as the prime minister is boasting about his small handouts, a Parliament Budget Committee report is warning about the dangers that over-taxation poses to the economy.
According to the report, Greece is the champion in the area of tax increases and in imposing VAT tax and special consumer taxes, but is last in terms of investments in the eurozone.
As was noted by Parliamentary Budget Office chief Frangiskos Koutentakis, Greece is the heaviest taxed country as regards goods and services – VAT and the EFK special consumer tax – and is near the top of the list in terms of income tax.
This necessary but dramatic increase in taxes arose during the years of the crisis, when income had been greatly reduced and the economy was in an exceptionally difficult position.
This reality has long been known to everyone, with the obvious exception of the prime minister, who is celebrating the fact that targets set with creditors were overreached.
The data released yesterday reveal that an additional 500,000 citizens and businesses could not meet their tax obligations on time in September.
As a result, the number of taxpayers with delinquent debt exceeded 4.3mn.
It is by now obvious that the mix of economic policies chosen by the government is not only imbalanced, but also catastrophic for the economy. In order for surpluses to exceed targets so as to distribute handouts, public investment is being cut continually, and private investment is stuck in a quagmire of uncertainty and insecurity.
Despite the government’s declarations to the contrary, growth will not come through a policy of benefits to stimulate consumption, but rather through targeted investment initiatives, with incentives for the private sector and professionals to expand their activities and create new jobs.
Otherwise, we shall continue to eat from a pie that is constantly shrinking due to over-taxation and insecurity, because the prospect of exiting the vicious circle of misery and underdevelopment with this policy is nowhere to be seen.