The government is considering the allocation and distribution of a social dividend to the weaker social strata in 2017, after having overachieved its fiscal targets.
This is quite clear by the draft budget submitted to the Parliament President by the Alt. Minister of Finance, Mr. Giorgos Chouliarakis. As stated in the budget’s introductory note for the current year, a surplus of 2.21% is expected to be achieved instead of the initial target set at 1.75% of GDP.
Government sources point out that the overachievement of the fiscal targets allows for one-off spending in the form of a social dividend and allows the government to pursue a policy of targeted financial support for the economically challenged households. The exact amount and support measures will be specified in accordance with the budget implementation figures.
According to information, discussions between the Greek government and the institutions on the distribution of a social dividend in 2017 have already begun. However, the final decision will be made by the Prime Minister at the end of October or early November, after the Finance Ministry has provided detailed information.
Government sources do not rule out the possibility of granting this year a social dividend in the form of an emergency allowance to families of those unemployed with children. This was also suggested by statements made by the SYRIZA MEP Mr. Dimitris Papadimoulis. At the same time, there are suggestions for further support to the newly unemployed or young entrepreneurs.
Ιn any case, according to the letter sent last Christmas by the Finance Minister Mr. Euclid Tsakalotos addressed to the institutions, the use of the available financial and fiscal space can be agreed upon between the Greek authorities and the institutions. According to the contents of the letter, overachieving the fiscal goals set to the government, can be used for the implementation of targeted measures in order to strengthen social policy programs and provide social protection to those in need, such as the provision of a Social Solidarity Income, or even to reduce taxation that has been imposed as a result of the requirements and commitments set by the memoranda. It can also be used to repay outstanding debts or create a fiscal liquidity buffer.
Government sources hint that the government can allocate the funds stemming from this overachievement in several directions to strengthen more than one social or professional groups. The final decisions will be made when the prime minister has a clearer picture of the course that the third evaluation has taken.