Greece’s ministers, lawmakers, mayors and other high-ranking public officials are able to enjoy generous tax reductions reaching up to 2,000 euros per year. A Greek daily revealed that the reductions affect the so-called Solidarity Levy. The parliament voted in favor of such decreases already May 2016. The provision was included in the law to decrease or even cut the poverty allowance to thousands of low-pensioners.
Eleftheros Typos revealed on Tuesday, that lawmakers had voted in favor to decrease their contribution to the so-called Solidarity Levy.
The law had passed with the votes of coalition government SYRIZA- Independent Greeks. However, here I have to add that I can hardly believe the lawmakers of the opposition parties were not aware of this provision or that they did not realize that the rate of the Solidarity Levy they have been paying for the last 9-10 months was reduced.
With the vote, the esteemed members of the Greek society save annually from €1,049 up to €1,999.
Beneficiaries are the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, ministers and lawmakers, elected mayors, general secretaries, managers of public entities and governors of independent authorities.
What the provision of May 2016 did was in fact to cancel a law of 2014 voted by then coalition New Democracy-PASOK. According to the 2014 decision, the tax categories mentioned above had to pay a Solidarity Levy of 8%, which was higher than the one for common taxpayers.
The Solidarity Levy was introduced in 2011 as one of the austerity measures imposed by the country’s lenders in the context of the first bailout agreement of 2010.
“With the May 2016 arrangement all the political persons mentioned above are treated the same way as other taxpayers,” ElTypos notes.
The Solidarity Levy is
- 0% for annual incomes totaling up to €12,000
- 2.2% for annual incomes €12,001-€20,000
- 5% for annual incomes €20,001-€30,000
- 6.5 % for annual incomes, €30,001-€40,000
- 7.5% for annual incomes €40,0001-€65,000
- 9% for annual incomes €65,001-€220,000
- 10% for annual incomes of more than €220,001
The daily notes that the May 2016 decision was included in “the law providing pension cuts, Poverty Allowance (EKAS) cuts, increasing social security contributions for self-employed and freelancers, lowering the tax free allowance, increase tax rates for employees and pensioners.”
Of course, it is a sign of boldness to claim that now Greece’s political persons are treated as the rest of the country’s taxpayers. For the simple reason that lawmakers and others people holding political posts enjoy big tax allowances under the pretext of higher office expenses.
Eleftheros Typos is a daily ideologically affiliated with major opposition party conservative New Democracy.
So far, I did not see the usual “angry” opposition reaction that accompanies decisions or laws of SYRIZA-ANEL.
A lawmaker – I didn’t note his name or political party – was asked about the issue at the morning magazine of a private television channel. He replied ” I do not know anything about it.”