“When will PM lower taxes, ” thunders PSD leader
The heat is on today as the country swelters under record temperatures. Members of the government may be photographed waist-deep in cooling waters, but colleagues in opposition have their sleeves rolled up, and are in no mood for taking it easy.
In Bragança today, where he has already weighed into the PM’s lack of empathy for the feelings of the president, society, young people and the most vulnerable, Opposition PSD leader Luís Montenegro has moved on to the “fiscal asphyxiation” in this country, questioning whether the prime minister is prepared to lower taxes, or if he is waiting for another PowerPoint presentation (this, a barb at the PowerPoint fiasco of the housing programme).
Visiting Bragança as part of his Sentir Portugal (Feeling Portugal) programme, Mr Montenegro accused PM António Costa of being “the record holder for taxes in Portugal“.
“Portugal today has a fiscal asphyxiation on people, on families, on companies, which has repercussions (…). We have taxes in Portugal that need to come down, now. The government today has a surplus in terms of tax revenue compared to what was already a lot, a record, which was forecast in the State Budget,” he railed.
“There are the conditions for lowering taxes for the middle class, there are the conditions for young people up to the age of 35 to pay a third of the personal income tax they pay today, there are the conditions for those who are more productive to get a return on that performance, on that merit, by not paying taxes or contributions on productivity bonuses”.
“Let’s be direct here. There are the conditions for lowering IRS (personal income tax) this year, 2023.
“It’s not about waiting for the presentation of the State Budget (OE), or drawing flowers with a ‘PowerPoint’ (…) it’s about now: there’s a surplus this year. António Costa has to answer the question of whether or not the IRS will be lowered this year,” he insisted.
Montenegro added that the government has consistently said it is ‘available’ to reduce taxes, without doing so in any effective way.
“Portugal breaks records every year. The tax record holder in Portugal has a face, that of António Costa! The tax record holder in Portugal has a party, it’s the PS. The tax record holder is this way of having more and more people earning the minimum wage or just above the minimum wage, levelling the country down,” he went on.
It is as if the president’s veto yesterday – and the PS’ subsequent riposte that “it doesn’t change a thing” – has somehow galvanised the opposition into preparing the country for a vigorous ride in September when ministers will have wriggled out of their bathing gear, and returned to parliament for the business of actually running the country.
Source material: LUSA