AN ANNOUNCEMENT has recently been made by the government, stating that each borough should only have one branch of Finanças (tax office). This means that where there is more than one, a branch will be closed down. In the Algarve, the only borough which has more than one tax office is Loulé, a situation that is causing local politicians to fear for the closure of the Quarteira branch.
“I don’t want to even think that this could be true, because, if it happens, there will be chaos,” says José Mendes, president of the Junta de Freguesia de Quarteira. According to the parish council chief, “this is the busiest tax office in the Algarve that produces the most income for the state; it does not make sense.”
Apparently, such is the volume of work at this office that the council has had to employ three extra staff in order to keep on top of things. “The branch in Quarteira, just like Loulé, is always full and, therefore, it is not justifiable to close it. We are going to protest against this,” guarantees José Mendes.
In addition, the President of Loulé Câmara says that the situation would be “intolerable”, because it is going to overload the Loulé branch to such a level that it will be unsustainable. “If the government wants to cut bureaucracy, it would demonstrate a lack of common sense to close the branch in Quarteira,” comments Seruca Emídio.
Social Democrat MP for the Algarve, José Mendes Bota, has already submitted a request to parliament for the Ministry of Finance to explain the situation, considering that, should the closure be confirmed, it would cause chaos and complicate the lives of residents, causing increased costs and loss of time.