Greek government took an important decision: to scrap the 23% Value Added Tax in private education and introduce gradually increasing VAT rates, while kindergartens and nurseries will be free of V.A.T as before September.
According to Athens News Agency report Tuesday noon, the new rates will be:
0% for kindergartens and nurseries
6% for foreign language schools, dancing schools. music schools etc and vocational schools (IEK)
13% for private schools of primary and secondary education.
I suppose, Greek ‘frontistirio’ (tuition centers) will be subject to 6% V.A.T.
Education Minister Nikos Filis told media that the development was very positive and that official announcement is to be made soon.
The official announcement of the government came an hour later, and it includes also “tuition centers” (frontistirio) in the category of 6% V.A.T
It has not be clear what ‘equivalent measures’ the government found to compensate for the revenue losses.
The Chairman of the Association of the Private Schools Owners was not satisfied with the new V.A.T. rates. In fact he sounded angry and told news portal NewsIt.gr that the new rates were just “words”, he threatened that the Association would seek justice in the Council of State and expressed doubt that the government had found equivalent measures. he underlined that the government had to had agreed first with “those outside” [note: educated Greeks call them “creditors”…]
The Greek government has been struggling since summer to find so-called “equivalent measures” in order to scrap the 23% V.A.T. in private education.
The measure was apparently the result of a beef trading between the government and the creditors in August. That was supposed to be the ‘equivalent measure’ so that the Greek government could lower the 23% V.A.T. in …beef down to 13%.
The measure triggered an outcry, especially among the average austerity-hit Greek households with children over 15 years old, as they depend on the tuition centers if their sons and daughters want to enter the Universities. Due to notorious deficiencies, public schools in Greece are unable provide secondary education students with skills that enable them to pass the university exams.
However, “private education in the EU member countries is VAT-excluded,” the Greek media and the government has been stressing all the time.
PS I wonder, whether the government found indeed “equivalent measures” and also received the approval by the creditors to scrap the 23%.