PSD requests meeting to discuss falling birth rate

It has been described as fundamental to the future of the country, but a date for a discussion on the country’s plummeting birth rate has yet to be fixed.
For now, Portugal’s social-democratic party PSD has at least said it should go ahead.
As newspapers have publicised with gathering urgency, Portugal’s birth rate is the lowest in the European Union – with only 7.9 children born per 1,000 inhabitants in 2013.
The meeting has been requested following the conclusion of a report carried out by a government-appointed commission.
The report was coordinated by university professor Joaquim Azevedo and proposes, among other measures, a 1.5% reduction of IRS (individual income tax) for couples having their first child, and a 2% for parents with two or more children.
Other suggested measures include the possibility of working part-time for a year but being entitled to a full-time salary, as well as lower vehicle and municipal taxes for large families.
Spokesperson for PSD Marco António Costa said that is “fundamental” for the country’s future that officials discuss this matter.
“Just like the commission says in its report, a public policy promoting an increase in our birth rate should be part of our society (…) as the future of our country is at stake,” he said.
When the meeting will take place, however, remains unknown, as the PSD awaits a response from the “Presidency of the Republic, the Government, political parties, social partners (unions) and other entities”, said Costa.