PM hints at ‘relieving tax burden on businesses’

In what media reports are describing today as a ‘pre-electoral campaign action’, PM António Costa has hinted at tax relief to help developing businesses.

Speaking in Costa da Caparica – and in the context of ‘the necessity to maintain budgetary balance’ – he said he “believed” there is “space to tweak with the taxation system”.

At least that is what sources have insisted – although the exact words of the prime minister were a little more oblique. 

He said: “we have to have a stable fiscal policy which obviously takes into account the effort that the country has to make to keep the correct accounts; and which obviously does not allow us to look at the tax system as if it were a blank sheet where we have the freedom to run freely. We have to know how to manage the margin we have in terms of fiscal policy, to align the incentives with what are the necessary incentives for the future of the Portuguese economy”.

He told the same meeting with businesspeople that if Portugal maintains its current ‘economic-financial trajectory’ it will reach 2023 without risking ‘excessive budgetary deficit’.

Indeed, he is hopeful that the country will have returned to a GDP level of 2019 by the second half of this year – and that the ECB will not be changing its policies regarding interest rates, notwithstanding what he called ‘conjunctural inflation’ throughout the bloc.

“In 2023, according to all indicators, Portugal will be in condition to comply with the rules (of the EU budgetary treaty) when they are reestablished. The 2021 deficit will probably be below the forecasts of the government due to economic growth and a better performance in expenditure”.

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