I had the pleasure of speaking to a lady working in Greece today and she was explaining the new taxes that have been introduced (in addition the ones already in place).
So we all know about the property tax, the special tax on businesses, the doubling of the price of fuel, the charging of the same years income twice, the increasing of VAT from 19-23%, the introduction of 23% VAT on food, the increase in road tax, the reduction of the tax free income from 12,000 Euro to 5000 Euro and the massive increase in complication for business owners despite government claims of cutting red tape. (And this is just the stuff I know about).
But that is the tip of the iceberg.
The central bank governor and their employee Papademos, the unelected Prime Minister and the Greek media have been banging for months now about how Greece needs an internal devaluation for the economy to become competitive.
Now assuming you think that is correct, which incidentally I do not, I think I am right in saying you also have to look at the cost of living in conjunction with falling wages because if you are blind to the cost of living you could be overseeing a Mad Max, road warrior situation and not even know it.
Aware or not, the “measures” being taken for an internal devaluation in Greece are not taking into consideration the cost of living at all.
As if the above taxes were not bad enough (the taxes are largely fixed and not tied to earnings) the Papademos regime is now piling more fixed taxes onto Greeks, which again, are not connected to earnings in any way.
What are these new taxes?
Income tax, except not based in income. Yeah, you heard me correctly and income tax, not based on income.
In addition to your normal tax return the Greek government is going to increase the income tax of people by using calculations which have nothing to do with income. Yeah, that’s what I thought…
These are the extra “income” taxes.
House size. The government is now saying if you have a house of so many meters then your income must be X and you will pay income tax on that figure, regardless of if you are working or not.
Car engine size. The government is now saying if you have a car with X sized engine, regardless of the year, make or model of the car, your income must be X, and you will pay an extra “income tax” based on the engine size. Even if you do not have a job.
And you have the same situation for boats and swimming pools, obviously car and house are the ones that effect everybody.
I do not want to sound redundant here but let me explain what this means.
The Greek political regime is saying it wants to reduce wages to make the Greek economy more competitive. And it is doing that through the slashing of wages, banks not making loans (yes, I think the government is working with the banks) to make loans and the cutting of the minimum wages and pensions.
And at the same time the Greek government is increasing the cost of living by inflicting taxes on the Greek people which have no connection to how much they are earning.
Things are completely out of hand and yet the mainstream media and government is trying to act like everything is okay.
This is not going to have a happy ending.