No. 50. MINIMUM GUARANTEED INCOME IN EE15 COUNTRIES AND POSSIBILITIES IN ITS IMPLEMENTATION TO GREECE (in Greek)

Published in REPORTS

A. Balfoussias, K. Kotsis. 2007. | ISBN: 978-960-341-075-1

 

The focus of this study is mainly on three issues:

(a) discusses alternative definitions of poverty as well as the differing views on the causes of poverty,

 

(b) describes the structure of the various systems of minimum guaranteed income (MGI) in the EE-15 countries, and

 

(c) investigates the possibilities of implementing a MGI system in Greece.

 

A MGI system amounts to a commitment by the State to secure a minimum standard of living for the poor to meet their basic needs, as a safety net. Its level may vary according to the size and the structure of the family and is determined by using an equivalence scale to take into account the resulting economies of scale.


In Greece, there is no income support provided to the poor on the criterion of extreme poverty and only on that. On the contrary, people in poverty are required to finance various social policies legislated in support of higher income classes and selective professional groups, such as third-party taxes, “restricted” professions and tax expenditures.


The present study concludes that the implementation of a MGI in Greece is quite feasible. Its fiscal cost is smaller than 1% of GDP, while at the first stage the coverage of a MGI could be slightly reduced and its level could be determined in accordance with the fiscal difficulties facing the country. Part of the MGI cost could be financed by reducing the various tax, professional and social security privileges that lack any social and economic justification. Moreover, a number of social benefits that are smaller than the MGI could be absorbed by the latter.