The fiscal space for fuel pass 3 has been secured

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Of Tasos Dasopoulos

The rise in private consumption and the second quarter of the year despite continuous revaluations, but also the capture of the first additional income from tourism ensure the next package of support measures against punctuality coming in the autumn.

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In particular, with regard to private consumption, for the first quarter the final expenditure for households and businesses had an increase of 10.4%. However, the first quarter of this year was compared to the first quarter of 2021, when restrictions were still in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus in industries such as dining, entertainment, tourism and culture.

Based on the data that recently arrived at the Ministry of Finance, it seems that the second quarter of the year went as well in terms of consumption with the growth rate approaching that of the first quarter. Importantly, the measurement was not only based on consumer spending which incorporates retail price increases, but the volume of sales of products and services. This means that until the end of June, the consumption of households and businesses did not show fatigue despite the high inflation. This fact will continue to fill public coffers with increased VAT revenues. This is also shown by the excess of 754 million euros, recorded at the end of the five months of January and May, which was announced on Monday by the GLC.

Smiles from tourism too

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The second source of optimism is the income from tourism. Based on the first measurable results for the April-June period, the tourism turnover exceeded 90% of the 2019 turnover, before we even reach the peak of the tourist season in the two months of July – August. Based on the bookings so far, it is estimated that, weather permitting, this year’s tourist season will also extend like last year until the middle of November. The difference between 2021 and 2022 is that last year, the tourist season started slowly from the end of May, while this year it is already in its third month. Also, based on data from the Ministry of Tourism and the average income consumed in our country this year, it is 10-15% higher than last year. Therefore, tourism can this year make a fund with a turnover that exceeds that of 2019

The next support package

With these data, competent sources of the Ministry of Finance stressed that the next fuel subsidy may be higher per beneficiary if the prices continue their upward course during the remaining months of the summer. Regarding the possibility of a further increase in the number of beneficiaries, they emphasized that with fuel pass 2 in which potential beneficiaries reach 3.1 out of 3.5 million car owners, we have probably approached the “ceiling” given the increased income criterion that reaches 45,000 for a family with three children.

The remaining 400,000 owners were left out because, based on tax returns, they more or less exceed this limit. “Our goal is for the measure to be targeted at the economically vulnerable, as well as the middle class,” they said characteristically.

In this direction, they emphasized that if there is an additional margin from the revenue, this will be directed to support the economically vulnerable from the entire grid of accuracy. They thus left open the possibility of an intervention corresponding to the “accuracy check” in the fall. They emphasized, however, that in any case everything will depend on the price of electricity since there is a possibility that the intervention for the indirect suspension of the readjustment clause will cost more than expected.

Source: Capital

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