Tax Freedom Day 2018 – Review
KEFiM, presented for the fourth consecutive year the research about Tax Freedom Day in Greece. Tax Freedom Day is the first day of the year that Greeks are free to choose how they will spend their own income.
According to KEFiM’s research, this year’s Tax Freedom Day is estimated to be the 18th of July.
The research was presented during a press conference on Monday, 25th of June. According to the findings, Greeks do work 198 out of 365 days of the year for the state.
The speakers in the press conference were:
• Adonis Georgiades, Vice President of New Democracy and member of the parliament
• Tasos Avrantinis, Vice President of “Drasi” and member of the Board of Directors of KEFiM
• Alexandros Skouras, president of KEFiM
Television, radio stations, print and electronic media massively covered the issue.
“Tax evasion of citizens raises doubts about the government’s development goals and limits people’s ability to choose how they spend their income. There is an urgent need to reduce taxes, limit the state expenses and improve the quality of services provided to citizens through private concession contracts and subcontracting”, stated Miranda Xafa.
The findings of Tax Freedom Day were presented in 17 television programs and 44 newspapers, made 4 major newspaper headlines, gained a total of 61 radio reports, while 909 relevant online articles and blog posts were published.
“Kathimerini” newspaper dedicated its front page to the survey highlighting “We work 198 days a year for the taxes – Greeks work more for the state than Scandinavians”, while “TA NEA” – another major Greek newspaper- described Greeks as “Tax Slaves” and payed a special tribute to its cover saying: “Greeks are bleeding since the Third Memorandum”.
“Phileleftheros” newspaper also hosted the research on the front page, while “Estia” one of the oldest Greek newspapers, mentioned that according to the results of the survey, Greeks pay “German taxes”.
A total of 909 news sites and blogs articles were published, along with 1222 mentions and references on Social Media. People showed their interest in updates about taxation, while they realized once again that they work more than half of the year for the state.
Ant1 TV created a special news coverage about Tax Freedom Day, hosting Greek shop owners, workers and entrepreneurs who expressed their dissatisfaction about the taxes and contributions they pay to the state.
SKAI TV asked people out in the streets about the taxes they pay to the state and Alpha TV hosted the issue indicating that the average Greek taxpayer has to pay more taxes than the Swedish or the Italians.
MPs of three different political parties also referred to KEFiM’s survey in the Greek Parliament.
The most important findings of the survey that triggered TV shows, radio mentions and social media posts were:
• This year, taxpayers will work 12 days more for the state, despite the optimistic oversight of 2.5% in 2018.
• In 2018, Greeks will work 50 days for direct taxes, 67 days for indirect taxes and 81 days for social contributions.
• The day in which Greeks stop working for the state comes later each year. In 2018, they will work 50 full days more for the state than they did back in the 2009 – that is if the Greek government achieves its goals.
• According to the data provided by Hellenic Statistical Authority, the Tax Freedom Day for 2017, was July the 6th.
• The government did not achieve the tax collection goals, which were set in the 2017 budget. The budget for 2018 provides a further increase of indirect taxes of 3.4%, of Direct Taxes by 1.6% and of the net social contributions by 4%, which is 9% higher than last year’s budget.
• The tax burden on Greeks is similar to that of the Germans and greater than that of Swedish, Finns and Italians. At the same time, Greeks are not satisfied with the quality level of the provided health and education services. Moreover, the justice system is among the lowest of OECD member states.
Working 198 days of the year for the state is a negative, but it gets worse when combined with the dissatisfaction Greeks feel towards the state institutions and public services. According to a relevant survey, Greeks are the least satisfied among OECD member states. Nevertheless, Greeks work more for the state than Scandinavians who enjoy greater state benefits.
KEFiM would like to thank our audiences, the media and the opinion leaders who once again shared the message and engaged with our actions. We are committed to continuing the effort to present the real economic conditions in Greece with supportive financial data, in a simple yet scientific way. By targeting the elimination of economic illiteracy, we aim to conduct and present researches demonstrating the problems and concrete proposals with solutions for the development and welfare of Greeks.