Do Greeks pay enough tax?

Let’s look at the assertion that Greeks don’t support their welfare state by paying tax.

Using OECD data from http://www.oecd.org/ctp/tax-policy/revenue-statistics-and-consumption-tax-trends-2014-australia.pdf
Australia’s tax revenue 2012
$416b total tax revenue
$163b personal tax 

23m population

AUD$18K total tax per person

AUD$7K personal tax per person (not per adult, per person)

Greece’s tax revenue (from the Greece equivalent page) 2013

EUR65b total tax, say $92b at 2013 exchange rates (similar to now)

EUR13b personal tax, say $19m

11m population

AUD$8K total tax per person

AUD$1.7K personal tax per person

But you say, the bankers have crippled Greece with austerity so let’s look at 2004.

Using OECD historic data from https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=REV

Greece’s total tax revenue was EUR58b

Interestingly the population was the same 11m, so that’s EUR5K per person which means the current EUR8K austerity induced “small” tax take is 60% higher. Small relative to Australia’s tax revenues which are more than double at current exchange rates.

Australia’s total tax revenue was USD$205b or AUD$281b and the population was 20m, so that’s AUD$14K, compared to $18K now, a 30% increase.

So Greeks are now paying more tax, 60% more, but they certainly weren’t paying tax on the scale needed to support their welfare state a decade ago.

If they can grow their economy at the current tax rates they might just about reach the point where they are paying enough tax to support a reasonable welfare system.

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