Nicosia.- Minister of Finance Harris Georgiades called on the Parliament to be ready to back difficult decisions and not only the easy and popular ones.
Georgiades` remarks came in the wake of a Parliament vote to slash the Immovable Property Tax (IPT) collected by the government by 75% on the 1980 property prices, making clear that the IPT will be abolished altogether in 2017. The local authorities will continue to collect IPT which amounts to €30 million in revenue.
The government proposal provided for collecting a single IPT amounting to €45 million based on the 2013 property prices, abolishing the tax collected by the local authorities.
“I would feel a lot more comfortable if the Parliament`s decision would be combined with the approval of the bill setting a ceiling to the public sector wagebill, connecting the upward changes with the economic performance,” he said, noting that “otherwise the current legislation stipulates that as of January 1, 2017, we return to the previous state of affairs with no ceiling in salary increments, hiring and allowances.”
The Parliament postponed for September the approval of a crucial government bill coupling public employees salary increments and hiring of employees with GDP growth. The government considers this bill crucial as it believes it will keep the wagebill on a sustainable path.
“We should be ready to back the difficult but appropriate decisions as well and not only the easy and popular ones. I hope that in September these bills concerning the civil service reform will be approved in order to ensure that there will be no fiscal derailment again, but on the contrary we will create positive prospects for our economy,” he stressed.