Holiday rentals tax hike

Dear Editor,

I cannot be the only person who read your report on tax changes planned for the Alojamento Local ‘regime’ (love that expression!) with a sinking heart.

How utterly idiotic can politicians get?

Not only will this wheeze to rake in ‘more money’ (without actually doing a thing) mean that more and more holiday renters will go underground, it means that those who have bitten the bullet and are struggling to conform to an ever-changing landscape of rules will now make even less money than they did when they started.

They will be faced with having to raise their prices – which could mean less chance of bookings next year – or finding ‘creative ways’ of fudging the books.

The fact that the government reeled people into this ‘regime’ on the promise of low tax rates, only to increase them, apparently massively, the moment the fancy takes them shows that it really hasn’t got a clue what it is up to.

Those brave words about encouraging investment were simply that: words. You cannot encourage investment, and then rap it firmly around the knuckles when it shows up.

Investment will simply scuttle off, at best into the undergrowth, at worst elsewhere – and this idiotic excuse for a government will be back staring at a balance sheet that can simply never add up.

I haven’t noticed any reaction from the sector. Presumably it is holding its breath as it starts packing its bags and sneaking out the back door. Have you heard anything?

Yours in anonymity
A. Packer