Tsipras: Allowances of MPs to be taxed – Reductions to the wages of Ministers

Tsipras: Allowances of MPs to be taxed – Reductions to the wages of Ministers

Athens, August 11, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Alexis Tsipras is ready to cancel the tax-free regime for MPs, and in an attempt to equalise the cuts that the measures of the memorandum provide for individuals, he has announced policy initiatives.

Reportedly, Alexis Tsipras, speaking at a meeting held at the Maximos Mansion said inter alia:

“…when at the negotiations is tabled the abolition of tax exemptions for farmers, we can;t turn a blind eye to the tax exemptions for ourselves…

The political system must align itself with the public feeling. For this reason, there will be directly tabled the bill for the abolition of the tax-free regime for MPs and the rationalisation of the salaries of Ministers, Public Organisations Managers, and Presidents Independent Administrative Authorities…

It is a political initiative not only with the financial aspect in mind, but with symbolic content. And the initiative is not required in the current negotiation, but it is the obligation of the political system to not exclude itself from the measures it takes…”

The meeting, which was chaired by the Prime Minister, focused to tabling the bill on the taxation of the parliamentary allowance and the reduction of allowances of Ministers, Governors of SOEs and the Presidents of Independent Administrative Authorities.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Administrative Reform issues, Christophoros Vernardakis, the Deputy Minister on issues of state Treasury Dimitris Mardas and the Secretary of the Cabinet Spyros Sayas.

What will the bill include

The bill that is to be tabled in the House imminently, on the taxation of the parliamentary allowance, and the reduce the allowances of Ministers of SOEs governors and presidents of Independent Administrative Authorities, according to government circles, among others, will include:

Taxation of parliamentary monthly allowance and the compensation for participation in committees, in their entirety, in accordance with what applies for the taxation of individuals.

It is noted that to date the salary is taxed at 75% of the full amount, while the compensation for the participation in committees is tax-free.

Reduction by 15% of monthly compensations of Ministers, Deputy Ministers, State Secretaries and general and special secretaries of ministries.

A fixed limit on the total remuneration of governors and members of the Boards of Public Enterprises and Entities, at 80% of the compensation of a non-parliamentary minister.

The compensation of presidents and members of the Board of Public Companies and Organisations and independent authorities, cannot exceed the monthly salary of the President of the Supreme Court.

Finally, government circles point out that this bill is not related to the country’s negotiations with institutions, but is a legislative initiative of the government, for which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had been committed to before the elections.

Mardas: The GAO will estimated the financial benefit for the state

To the bill on the taxation of the parliamentary allowance, such as the reduction of salaries of ministers, referred Dimitris Mardas exiting the Maximos Mansion after the meeting. The deputy finance minister said the financial benefit of this bill will be calculated by the General Accounting Office and announced.

Mardas said “we discussed various issues related to the responsibilities of the General Accounting Office of the State and the preparation we have to make in view of closing the agreement, as we also discussed various other issues relating generally to creating positive expectations connected to the country’s development path”.

Asked about when an agreement will be reached, he said, among other things, that those who are involved at the forefront of negotiations know very well, but that the details of how the deal is progressing is only known to Giorgos Stathakis and Euclid Tsakalotos.