Greece presented new reform proposals on Monday which its euro zone partners cautiously welcomed as a possible basis for an agreement to unlock bailout funds needed to avert a possible debt default.
Here is a summary of the proposal as spelled out by Greek government officials.
Early retirement to be curbed gradually from 2016 to 2025, but exemptions for some specific categories to be maintained, including for arduous professions and mothers with disabilities.
A special benefit for some low-income pensioners, amounting to between €57 to €230 ($64.66 to $260.89) a month to remain but to be replaced from 2020 by new protection framework for low pensions. This is a key point of friction between Greece and its lenders, who wanted it scrapped.
Greece to keep three value added tax rates of 23 per cent, 13 per cent and 6 per cent. Electricity and restaurants to be taxed at 13 per cent instead of being raised to 23 per cent, as lenders had demanded, while medicines to be cut to 6 per cent rather than raised to 11 per cent as sought by lenders. Officials said lenders were asking for two rates of 11 per cent and 23 per cent.
TAX HIKE FOR HIGH EARNERS
Solidarity tax for higher income earners (revenues above €50,000 euros to be increased, while lowering the tax for revenues below €30,000. It introduces a solidarity tax of 8 per cent on revenues above €500,000.
CORPORATE, LUXURY TAX HIKES
Tax plans to include: a) a special levy of 12 per cent on businesses that post a profit of over €500,000; b) Increases in luxury tax on pools, planes, big cars and private boats over 10 metres (33 feet); c) a tax on gambling slot machines (VLTs).
Privatisations to impose a minimum amount of investment, a commitment by investors to promote the local economy and a participation of public equity.
The transfer of Greece’s state equity in Greek telecoms operator to the country’s privatisation agency will not be part of the lenders’ prior actions.
Greece will not privatise its power grid operator (ADMIE) nor its dominant power utility PPC, as requested by creditors.
PUBLIC SECTOR WAGES
No cuts to public sector wages from levels at end-2014.
Cut defence spending by €200 million.
PRIMARY BUDGET SURPLUS
Primary budget surplus of 1 per cent in 2015 and 2 per cent in 2016, compared with 3 per cent and 4.5 per cent agreed to by previous Greek governments.
Greece repeated demand for euro zone to lend it money to buy back €27 billion of its bonds from European Central Bank – effectively rolling-over the debt on more favourable terms.
Greece wants deal to include financing of infrastructure and new technologies through an investment package from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank.
According to leaked proposals on Greek websites, Greece also planned to increase pension contributions to cash in €605m this year and €1.56bn next year.
Spending cuts and tax revenues would produce budget measures equivalent to €2.69bn or 1.51 per cent of GDP this year and €5.2bn or 2.87 per cent of GDP in 2016, up from €1.99bn or 1.1 per cent of GDP and €3.58bn or 2 per cent of GDP previously.
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