Greek government to help citizens pay for their food bills amid high inflation
From February 2023 the Greek government will cover 10% of its citizens’ food bills, in a bid to lessen the burden of inflation.
The move will cost the government around €650 million and was announced by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
As in the UK, Greece has been experiencing a period of high inflation in 2022, reaching a peak of 12% in September.
Although general inflation has since eased over the last two months, grocery inflation has remained high. Inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages hit 15% in November according to the National Statistical Service of Greece.
Mitsotakis’ scheme will run initially for six months, and individuals will receive a maximum pay-out of €220 per month. For large families with several beneficiaries, this limit will increase by €100 per person up to a cap of €1,000.
“We are trying to help as many households as possible,” Mitsotakis told the Greek Parliament, explaining that the government initiative could be used on supermarket purchases and other food retailers such as bakeries, butchers and fishmongers.
The scheme will be open to households with a combined annual income of €24,000 per couple. This upper limit increases by an additional €5,000 per child, and as a result, Mitsotakis estimates that some 85% of Greek taxpayers could be helped with the programme.
As well as helping with food bills, the Prime Minister also underscored the government’s commitment to helping its citizens with energy bills.
Money to pay for the public’s groceries will come from a windfall tax on the country’s two oil refineries, Helleniq Energy and Motor Oil.
“Without any fiscal cost, we will tax the refineries for 2022…to collect, we estimate, 650 million euros,” Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told state television network ERT.
Understand how and why inflation affects the food industry in the way it does with this Food Matters Live Podcast episode featuring Tim Lloyd, Professor of Economics at Bournemouth University, and Fraser McKevitt, Head of Retail and Consumer Insight at Kantar: