Figures won’t add up for long

The figures are depressing. In just one month the 2020 budget has gone out the window due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as spending soars as a result of the handouts to workers and enterprises and revenues crumble due to the suspension of corporate tax obligations - and the economic support cycle has only just got started.

Sources at the State General Accounting Office estimate that a hole of 5-6 billion euros has opened regarding the period up to end-April. The math is simple: Typically, the state's revenue and expenditure amount to about 6 billion euros each every month. More than half of the April takings are expected to be lost, plus some from March, as provisional figures show that in the last 15 days of March about a third has been lost. Therefore, in total, revenue losses in March and April are seen coming to 3-4 billion euros. Spending was already 1.4 billion euros over...

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