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Communist party calls for  more taxes for high earners

by CHRIS GRAEME [email protected]

The General-Secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party says that high wage earners, like the President of the Republic, should shoulder a higher tax burden.

Jerónimo de Sousa argued in Lisbon on Sunday that those who earned “fat cat salaries” should be taxed more.

Speaking at a party faithful luncheon, the PCP leader called for an “alternative taxation policy” for high-end earners like banks and bankers, economic groups, on stock market windfalls and assets and the dividends paid out to major shareholders.

The PCP leader added that even the President Cavaco Silva should be able to pay more in response to the President’s faux pas a week ago on Friday when he told journalists that his pensions didn’t “meet his expenses”, despite earning nearly €140,000 a year in pension payouts.

Increased asset taxation and those on financial transactions defended by Jerónimo de Sousa have also been supported by the new General-Secretary of the country’s main union, the CGTP, Arménio Carlos, who also sits on the Central Committee of the Portuguese Communist Party.

The Portuguese Communist Party was at its strongest immediately following the April 25 Revolution in 1974, but, in the past decade, barely scraped in two to three per cent of the vote at elections.

However, its grassroots support, particularly in its Alentejo heartland, has increased in the past couple of years. The PCP netted 7.91% nationwide in last year’s election since the onset of the economic and financial crisis.

Arménio Carlos came up with the same ‘tax the rich’ suggestion at last week’s CGTP Union National Congress – the equivalent of the TUC Congress in the UK – when he was elected to replace CGTP leader and communist party stalwart Manuel Carvalho da Silva.

Jerónimo Sousa also said on Sunday that “some had sought to create difficulties and foster intrigues over the fact that there were many communist party members in the CGTP union”.

“Yes, Comrades, there are many communists, and not because of a decision from the Central Committee (of the union) but from the choice of the workers themselves who chose and voted for communists in companies and unions,” he said.

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