The decision of the Minister Council
The inclusion of products for the blind and disabled in the zero VAT rate, as well as the inclusion of a number of services in the reduced rate of 3%, with an annual budgetary impact of around €3.5 million, announced the Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letympiotis.
In statements after the session of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Letymiotis said that the bill amending the VAT law was approved on the basis of the provisions of the Community directive regulating reduced VAT rates.
In particular, as he said, a VAT rate lower than 5% to 3% is adopted for the right of entry from the first performance of theatrical performances of musical works and dance works or classical works, street cleaning, waste collection and waste treatment services except those provided by the state authorities, local administration authorities and organizations under public law and for the disposal and treatment of waste water and the emptying of septic tanks and industrial tanks.
At the same time, a reduced VAT rate was adopted from 5% to 3% in categories of goods intended for the promotion of cultural goods and goods intended to serve citizens with special needs.
This is the delivery of books, newspapers and magazines provided either in physical form or electronically or in both formats, the special lifting devices (stairs, lifts, wheelchair lifters and the like) used to serve the disabled, as well as wheelchairs armchair but also other vehicles for the disabled even with an engine or other propulsion mechanism.
The reduced VAT rate of 3% also includes orthopedic items and devices, including microsurgical belts and bandages and crutches, splints, supports and other items and devices for fractures, prosthetic items and devices and devices to facilitate hearing for the deaf and other hand-held devices.
Items for the personal use of blind and disabled persons are included in the zero rate.
As Mr. Letympiotis said, these are typewriters with Braille characters and special electronic typewriters for disabled persons, wheelchair-type wheelchairs and other vehicles for the disabled even with an engine or other propulsion mechanism as long as they are intended exclusively for personal use by the disabled.
The Spokesperson finally said that the measures “are not expected to disrupt the prudent fiscal policy” with the fiscal cost amounting to approximately €3.5 million per year.
The data on consumption tax on fuel and electricity
At the same time, when asked about the issue of the reduced consumption tax on fuel, in view of their expiration at the end of June, Mr. Letympiotis said that these measures are temporary and horizontal and are being evaluated by the government, while their expiration date is approaching.
“Thus even now the Government is evaluating the measures according to today's data and there will be announcements soon”, he added.
In response to an observation that the issue has turned into a political one, Mr. Letympiotis said that the issue should not develop into a political one, since for the government the issue is first of social sensitivity and fiscal discipline.
“What the government is currently examining is whether those reasons and those facts are present today for which the decision was taken for temporary support measures, whether it concerns fuel or electricity,” he said, adding that the government will continue to maintain fiscal sobriety and will introduce targeted support measures, such as those announced today, for vulnerable households and our fellow citizens.
He reminded at the same time that from the first moment these measures were announced, their validity was temporary and should be treated as such and not as a permanent measure.
As he said, “public confrontation should be avoided for the support measures and that all the responsible political forces take into account that above all else fiscal discipline must be maintained”.
In the next session the special jurisdiction for NDE in the Courts
Furthermore, regarding the bill to create a special jurisdiction in the District Courts for the examination of cases concerning NDE secured by a main residence of up to €350,000, which was announced to be approved by the Cabinet today, Mr. Letymiotis explained that the Minister of Finance was absent and that is why it was not discussed.
“You understand that it is a serious issue, which should be discussed at length in the session of the Council of Ministers and therefore we should wait for the next session when the Minister of Finance himself will be present discussed”, he concluded.