ATHENS Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday unveiled measures to help Greece plug a shortfall in the austerity plan agreed with inspectors from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Venizelos said that when he took office last week, the shortfall stood at 5.5 billion euros. Subsequent adjustments brought the figure down to 3.8 billion euros and the measures announced on Thursday were aimed at closing that gap.
Following are the measures announced:
- One-off solidarity levy on personal income ranging between 1 and 5 percent, according to income: Those earning 12,000 to 20,000 euros a year will be taxed at 1 percent. Rate then climbs to 2 percent for incomes of 20,000-50,000 euros, to 3 percent for 50,000-100,000 euros and to 4 percent for those earning 100,000 euros or more. Lawmakers and public office holders to pay a 5 percent rate.
- Tax-free threshold on income lowered to 8,000 euros annually from current level of 12,000 euros, with the lowest rate set at 10 percent and exemptions for young people up to 30 years, pensioners over 65 years and the disabled.
- Annual levy of 300 euros on the self-employed.
- Small tax hike for heating and diesel fuel for companies.
- Public spending cuts of 400 million euros in 2011.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou)