Cutting back on bureaucracy and increasing police presence

Encouraging exports, helping small and medium enterprises, an employment pact, investing in renewable energy and supporting technological industries were cornerstones of the ruling socialist PS party election manifesto unveiled last week.

On the financial front, the government has pledged to continue “making life simpler for its citizens and companies” in terms of taxes and bureaucracy while avoiding chopping and changing tax legislation except in some areas of property tax.

Without going into specific details, the government intends to give tax breaks for companies aiming to go international while changes in the tax scale would favour the middle classes.

In terms of technology, the manifesto pledges to continue pushing up levels of computer literacy, increasing the numbers of information systems in government agencies to facilitate data cross-referencing, while stepping up the pressure on outstanding taxes, tax avoidance and tax fraud.

Crime

The government has also unveiled a plan to reform taxation on large properties with a heritage or municipal value in order to boost incentives to do up large buildings in a state of disrepair.

On law and order, the government has pledged to beef up the police presence in difficult inner city flashpoints such as Lisbon, Porto and Setúbal, as well as creating a technological investigation brigade to counter organised cross-border and international crime.

Modernising equipment and military hardware, reforming the armed forces and developing a military industrial and technological industry base in Portugal were other areas for the government to concentrate on in the next five years.