Ahead of the June 25 elections, New Democracy insists that any reduction in value-added tax (VAT) on food and other essentials will primarily benefit the rich, and therefore there is no point in implementing it.
This attitude was originally promoted during the ND government, when supermarket prices skyrocketed under the pretext of the war in Ukraine. Prices remain high and grow by an average of 9-10% per month, even if inflation is declining, and half of Greeks say they have cut food costs.
IN surveyconducted May 6-10, 2023 by the Consumer Product Retail Research Institute (IELKA), 54% of respondents (compared to 55% in January) said they had reduced food purchases.
In a post about epic mathematical alchemy, former minister of state and close aide to Mitsotakis, Akis Skertzos, wrote on Sunday:
“Let’s say we reduce VAT by 7 units (and this does not go into the pockets of intermediaries):
Consumption s/m €520/month X -7%=benefit 36.4€
Consumption s/m 1000€/month X -7%=benefit 70€
Consumption s/m 1500€/month X -7%=benefit 105€
Who benefits the most? High or low flow?“.
On Monday, his ND colleague, former tourism minister Haris Theoharis, added fuel to the fire by arguing that the rich pay VAT on food:
“The simplest proof that most indirect tax revenue comes from the upper class is this: VAT on food is 2.8 billion euros. The market pass, which expanded the criteria to include the middle class, cost the budget 600 million euros. The rich pay the difference.
Note that the market pass subsidy gives €20 or less per household per month from February.
As for the bright side of this paranoid appeal to those voters who swallow, without chewing, everything that the ND “sells” to them, one can say: at least neither Schertzos nor Theoharis proposed to raise the VAT to reduce social inequality. They know that indirect taxes are the most unfair taxesbecause the lower and middle classes devote most of their income to basic daily needs.
Why? Because they don’t care. They live in their own world, the world of wealthy people who have always had and will have money for food and leisure. They and others like them to the question “what to do when there is no bread?” answer: “eat cakes” …