The shadow economy is gnawing away an increasing portion of Bulgaria's budget revenue, Ivan Kostov, leader of political party Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB), said yesterday.
Kostov compared GDP and receipts from value-added tax (VAT) and excise duty in the first half of the year.
"The economy is not only falling sleep, but like a bear it is crawling into its den, hiding behind the shadow of the grey economy," Kostov said. "Although the gross domestic product was exactly the same for the first half of the year, even higher by around [BGN] 100 million than for the first half of last year, VAT and excise receipts are 17% lower. Incomes are the same, but are taxed 17% lower," Kostov said at a media briefing at DSB's headquarters.
He dismissed as overly optimistic the positive analyst expectations that the Bulgarian economy will contract by up to 1.5% in the second quarter of the year.