THE abolition of the special levy on salaries will return back to workers’ pockets some €80m President Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday night at the 55th Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEV).
Addressing OEV’s general assembly, the president said that the event coincides with very important developments for the Cypriot economy.
He added that the past year Cyprus had achieved the highest growth rate in the last seven years.
“The dynamic course of growth in our country is allowing us to safely announce that at the end of 2016, the unfair so-called extraordinary contribution (deducted from salaries) imposed by the economic crisis, will come to an end,” Anastasiades said. This will bring €80m back in the pockets of workers, he said, which will help strengthen their purchasing power and stimulate consumption, giving an additional impetus to growth.
He added that the prudent management of public finances, yielded results as growth was achieved.
“We must set the bar even higher and aim for an even more productive and competitive economy. To rid our country of bureaucracy and distortions and make it an even more attractive destination for foreign investment”.
He admitted that Cyprus fell behind as regards the structural and institutional framework governing the scope of development and that it lagged in key indicators related to competitiveness and ease of doing business. However, he said, “we have promoted important regulations that brought results. According to the latest report of the World Bank, Cyprus has risen in the rankings on business environment by 13 positions and ranks among the ten countries that have made most progress in attracting investment”.
As regards the public service, he said that among the bills aiming to upgrade it, one of them provides “for the first time” a mechanism linking the cost of the state payroll with economic growth, and for the automatic freezing of raises in periods of zero growth or recession.