Portuguese have to

SECTIONS of the Portuguese population will have to further tighten their belts as their standard of living drops, claims a top businessman.

The President of Vodafone Portugal, António Carrapatoso, believes that the standard of living for many sections of the population could fall further if the incoming Socialist government fails to carry out the necessary reforms needed to the economy.

Carrapatoso, also founder of Compromisso Portugal (Portugal Commitment), an organisation formed by businessmen, lawyers, politicians and other representatives of society, made several stark observations in a press conference recently. Analysing the electoral manifestos of both the Social Democrats (PSD) and Socialist (PS) parties, he concluded that the Portuguese would have to endure sacrifices in the near future. He said that, over the years, the Portuguese have lived “beyond their means and have got into considerable debt that now has to be paid for”.

One of the most important points Carrapatoso made was that the public administration needed “urgent reform”. By this he meant that there were more people working within the state sector than were needed.

“Because we haven’t had a government in the past with the courage to make the necessary reforms, it is inevitable that taxes will go up unless drastic measures are taken to reduce public expenditure,” he warned.

However, the boss of Vodafone Portugal believes that, if the new government can find the courage and strength to carry out the necessary political and economic reforms, then in the medium-term taxes could actually fall, starting with corporate tax (IRC), followed by income tax (IRS).