An upwards revision of the country's fiscal deficit for 2009 would result to an budget adjustment of 4.0 billion euros, Dimitris Georgakopoulos, secretary-general of the Finance ministry said on Tuesday.
In a radio interview, Georgakopoulos said next year's budget revenues would be based on implementing living standard criteria, raising VAT rates, higher taxes on fuel and alcohol and a ministry decision offering tax amnesty to outstanding tax cases in the past decade. He said the goal was to cut the fiscal deficit to 7.6 pct of GDP in 2011 and said that this year's budget revenues would be short by 2.0 billion euros. Georgakopoulos said a new tax draft bill would be tabled to Parliament by November 25 and will include changes in VAT rates. He stressed that for some products a low VAT rate of 11 pct would be raised to 13 pct, while other products would be transfered from the low rate to the highest rate of 23 pct.
He acknowledged that a sharp fall in building activity and adverse conditions prevailing in real estate markets were limiting expectations of higher revenues from a government plan to raise real estate taxes.