As prices get higher and higher every day, and the population begins to grumble, the authorities are frantically looking for an opportunity to ease tensions by issuing from time to time handouts benefits.
New emergency measures to be announced within a month
This was recently stated by government spokesman Giannis Ikonomou, who told the media that “the issue of fuel is very important,” leaving open the possibility of expanding beneficiaries and raising revenue criteria. According to him: “We see that the rise in fuel prices affects incomes that are above the level of the most vulnerable segments of the population. So, as before, when we had to make more drastic interventions for those who consumed more than 300 kilowatt-hours, we are trying to find resources, use every opportunity given to us, to extend this benefit to everyone else.”
“Rising oil prices are putting a lot of pressure on households,” said Deputy Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis (ANT1), who advocates direct assistance to households because “a policy of getting money directly into people’s accounts is more effective, in our opinion, because it makes sure people get them. It is not a fact that 100% of the assistance will reach the citizen if there is support through third parties.” In fact, he noted that the majority of fuel coupon holders prefer to deposit money into their account, the rest, who are a minority, “on a mobile phone application that provides a large payout amount.”
What new support measures are expected?
In this context, it is planned to extend the fuel subsidy measure by expanding the number of beneficiaries, continuing and increasing the subsidy for diesel fuel after June. While the government is likely to issue a new check in the summer, which will be “for vulnerable households who find it difficult to make ends meet as their incomes evaporate due to a wave of rising fuel and food prices.”
The government has so far ruled out intervening in taxes on fuel and food because budget spending is too high. A government spokesman stressed: “We have said too many times why the use of tax instruments is not approved by the government, in order to reduce the price of fuel or other consumer goods. In fact, this is the money of the citizens themselves. Because it’s taxes. This is the money of the citizens themselves, who return to provide benefits and support the state budget. If this money is not enough, someone will be forced to either introduce new taxes or take out a loan at very high interest rates.”
The complex of “fire-fighting” measures aimed at reducing the accuracy of fire includes:
Expanding fuel subsidies.
The fuel surcharge will continue for at least another two months, and the fan base will become even more open. It is planned to increase the €30-€50 subsidy focusing on the islands and €30,000 income criterion to €45,000 so that more consumers can benefit. A proposal to subsidize the price of gasoline directly to the gas station also hit the table, but it has a large budgetary cost.
Extension of subsidies for diesel fuel.
The subsidy for diesel fuel will continue after June, and its amount will be increased. This amount today is 12 cents per liter, excluding VAT. With VAT, the subsidy reaches about 15 cents per litre.
Compensation for overpriced electricity bills.
The Power Pass platform will open on June 16 for applications for electricity subsidies of up to €600, according to Deputy Finance Minister Theodoros Skilakakis. Although, as he said, “attempts are being made to start work on June 14th. The platform will remain open until the end of the month, and the amount will be credited to beneficiaries in early July.”
Price increase #2.
Emergency summer allowances, equivalent to 200 euros issued at Easter, are on the government’s table to support the most vulnerable households. Providing a new subsidy to support vulnerable categories of the population requires a budget of about 250-300 million euros.