The budget will include measures for balancing the economy and supporting entrepreneurship. Taxation will increase through a hike in value-added tax (VAT) and the establishment of a temporary new tax bracket for those with yearly incomes of over 100,000 euros.
This will concern some 50,000 salary earners and increase their taxes by two percentage points. The tax bracket is to be in force for 3 years.
Taxpayers will not receive cost of living index adjustments, which will also augment the government’s revenue. Student benefits are to remain at 2012 levels next year.
Savings will be accomplished by reducing the funds allotted to various administrative branches.
Those on lower incomes will receive a measure of protection. Income support, the basic benefit paid to the long-term unemployed, will increase by 21.50 euros per month.
Next year’s budget will also contain monetary provisions for the much-discussed elder care reform, as well as for the ‘youth guarantee’ initiative aimed at preventing marginalisation among the young.
Under this social guarantee, the government pledges to find work, a study place, an internship or a rehabilitation programme for people under 30 who have been unemployed for three months.
The budget deficit will grow by seven billion euros in 2013. By the end of next year, the total state debt will run to 96 billion euros.
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