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Finance Ministry Releases Draft Budget Proposal

The Ministry of Finance released Wednesday its first draft of the budget proposal, including a two percent adjustment for inflation on income tax. Taxes on alcohol, fuel and electricity will be increased.

Under the proposal, the duty on spirits will increase next year by 15 percent, while taxes on lighter alcoholic beverages will go up 10 percent. The tobacco tax will remain the same. Meanwhile the inheritance and pension taxes are to go down.

Pensions are to increase by 20 euros, while state child support for single parents will go up by 10 euros a month. State student support will also increase by 15 percent beginning next year. Furthermore students will be able to earn 30 percent more than before, while still retaining student support benefits.

The petrol tax will also increase, as will the energy tax. Surplus to Pay Off Debt The Ministry has proposed earmarking the two billion euro budget surplus for paying the principle on the state debt. It's estimated that at the end of 2008, government debt will exceed 55 billion euros. The budget proposal's grand total comes to 42.8 billion euros. YLE

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