Opposition promises to lower VAT to 16 per cent

THE LEADER of Portugal’s opposition PSD party, Luís Filipe Menezes, has pledged to reduce VAT to 16 per cent by 2013, should his party win the General Election next year.

The leader promised to practise a “consistent economic policy”, one that was not obsessed with the economic deficit, but would stimulate small and medium-sized business and economic growth and development.

The election promises were made on Friday night last week (March 28) at a Social Democrat Workers dinner (Trabalhadores Sociais-Democratas) in which he was critical about the Prime Minister’s performance.

“At the end of our four year term in government, the PSD will reduce VAT (IVA) to 16 per cent in Portugal,” said the leader.

He said it was important to bring the VAT level down to the same level currently practised in Spain.

With regards to taxes, Luís Filipe Menezes claimed the government was charging the Portuguese, on average, 530 euros per annum.

“We think he should pay that back so that Portuguese purchasing power is at least what it had been when they came to power three years ago,” he said.

According to the Social Democrat leader, the Portuguese are paying around 550 euros more in taxes.

“The work that the PSD has done over the past six months has been decisive in showing up the failures of the current PS government,” he stated.

Prime Minister José Sócrates has said that his government is prepared to lower VAT by one percentage point from 21 per cent to 20 per cent in time for the next election.

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