Cyprus Mail

Georgiades expects balanced 2017 budget with less taxes, more spending

By Stelios Orphanides

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said no extra measures will be necessary to achieve a balanced budget for 2017, in which spending increases by €100m to €6.15bn.

“On the contrary, we have a situation which allows the gradual and reasonable reduction of tax burdens imposed in the past,” the finance minister told reporters at the presidential palace on Friday after the cabinet approved the budgetary framework for 2017-2019.

“A first relief measure, which we repeatedly said was a priority, is to scrap by the end of this year, the temporary contribution imposed in 2011, which burdens all workers, both in the private and in the public sector. It’s a definite decision, a significant break worth about €80m”.

A day after he revised this year’s growth forecast upwards from a previous 1.5 per cent, Georgiades said that he also briefed the cabinet on the 2.6 per cent growth rate in the first quarter reported on Friday by Eurostat, which is based on a flash estimate.

“A growth rate of 2.2 per cent is forecast (for 2016) by the fiscal policy framework approved by the cabinet today, a significant acceleration of growth which seems, from the first estimate for the first quarter, that it is a fully attainable objective,” the minister said, adding that growth is expected to rise to 2.5 per cent next year.

“The real economy is recovering and the efforts and sacrifices of our fellow citizens are paying off and we therefore need to continue this effort to strengthen this positive prospect”.

“All individual investment (and) consumption indicators record a significant increase,” he said.

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