Luís Marques Mendes
Luís Marques Mendes has a regular commentary slot on SIC noticias on Sunday evenings

Perils of 2023 State Budget laid bare

It’s the one of “greatest uncertainty in history of democracy”

For all the claims and assurances surrounding the government’s presentation later today of the State Budget for next year, television commentator and State advisor Luís Marques Mendes has put the document into stark focus. 

This budget “is the one of greatest uncertainty in all democracy”, he told SIC news anchor Clara de Sousa last night – meaning every single premise underpinning Portugal’s calculations could be thrown into the air depending on how world events develop.

Thus, the ‘accord’ celebrated with social partners – all the scales devised for salary increases to the end of the Socialist legislature, the likely path of inflation/ growth etc – have to be seen in this context.

This is a “wartime budget”, he stressed. In terms of finances (relating to Portugal’s deficit and public debt) – it is “prudent and positive”, but “it is very risky in terms of estimates for growth” and “even more risky in its estimates for inflation”.

This is where Marques Mendes came to the nub of what has been confusing today’s national politics. It is time for the prime minister, and the finance minister, to start speaking the truth, he said.

“People believe the truth much more easily than lies and illusion, even when it isn’t the best, or most agreeable in the world”.

The government’s announcement of the State Budget is expected at lunchtime today.

It is understood to be based on growth next year of 1.3%, a deficit of 0.9% of GDP, and a rate of inflation of 4%.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com