By Chrysostomos Tsoufis

The state budget runs with “broken” brakes as the preliminary data published by the GLK show that in the first 8 months a monstrous primary surplus of €5.6 billion has been “built” against a target for a surplus of €2.3 billion. In the January-August period, the budget exceeded the targets by €3.3 billion.

It is characteristic that tax revenues during the same period reach €39.9 billion against a target of €36.5 billion, i.e. an excess of €3.4 billion is observed. So fate will ask why his basket prime minister in the TIF it was so “shallow” when the numbers show that the fiscal path is excellent. The Ministry of Finance itself hastens to give the answer.

According to Niki, a large part of the budget surplus concerns last year. In other words, the money may be collected this year, but it is counted in last year’s budget:

-€470 million have to do with the extension of the deadline for the payment of traffic fees until the end of February 2023.
-€367 million relate to the collection of income tax of natural and legal persons concerning the financial year 2022 but were collected in the installments of January and February 2023.
-€772 million more than the initial estimates appear in the tax refunds, a fact which of course negatively affects the fiscal result.

Therefore, subtracting the above from the excess of €3.4 billion, it follows that the real “excess revenues” amount to €1.8 billion. And these, however, as it makes clear Ministry of Finance have been “consumed” :

-In July, a supplementary budget of €700 million was voted to deal with expenses such as the extension of the market pass until October, the granting of the youth pass, the salary of faculty members, health expenses and the cost of the self-governing elections.
-A second supplementary budget of €600m is expected for the first compensations of those affected by the Daniel disaster.
-€400 million is the costing of the additional measures announced by the Prime Minister from Thessaloniki, i.e. the market pass for the residents of Thessaly and Evros, the personal difference allowance, the return of agricultural oil to farmers and the corrective actions in the heating allowance.

Taking all of this away, the end result is a revenue excess of around €100m per hour as the Ministry of Finance itself warns that the budget may be negatively affected in the coming months by the financial consequences of storm Daniel which remain incalculable.

This explains both the withdrawal of the second general extension of the market pass until the end of the year and the rejection – until further notice – by the government of scenarios for subsidizing fuel at the pump let alone a new series of benefits.