Portugal’s budget ‘cliffhanger’ saved by independent MPs

Independent MPs (formerly representing PAN and Livre) Cristina Rodrigues and Joacine Katar Moreira are being hailed today as the ‘final votes’ that will clinch the next State Budget for the government.

Over the weekend, issues with minority parties continued to put the budget’s first reading on Tuesday in jeopardy: PAN announced it would be abstaining, Bloco de Esquerda that it would be voting against (click here).

Abstentions in this case are positive in that they don’t go against the government.

PCP communists and PAN have already declared they will be abstaining – not necessarily from future voting, but from the ‘general vote’ tomorrow.

What looks likely is that the intervening weeks between now and November’s final vote will see minority parties pushing for concessions (that is, further measures that they deem essential).

In Bloco de Esquerda’s mindset, the budget doesn’t go far enough and should have much more in the way of focus on remodelling the SNS health system, giving it further cash injections, and protecting the vulnerable.

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