State ordered to pay €30 million to citizens and businesses – but doesn’t have the money

As the country wakes up to a new political reality, another budgetary ‘shock’ has come to the surface: the State has been ordered by the country’s courts to pay out €30 million to hundreds of ‘injured parties’ but simply does not have the cash available.

According to Correio da Manhã, the quota available in this year’s budget is €5 million, which means “hundreds of people and businesses are waiting to be paid”.

One such victim is a parish council worker – CM does not reveal her identity, simply her gender – who is waiting for €133,000 which two courts have awarded her for unfair dismissal.

The woman has been waiting for the money for three years, says the paper which quotes lawyer Paulo Viega e Moura describing the iniquity of the situation: “When a citizen owes the State, he is hounded and even runs the risk of jail,” the lawyer explained.

But when the tables are turned, people are simply left waiting.

The news of the sums in question came as the superior council of fiscal and administrative courts (CSTAF) published its annual figures on debts to be included in the state budget.

As CM explains, debts have been piling up since 2011, with the line of those ‘in waiting’ – as well as the interest due on unpaid debts – getting larger every year.

CSTAF’s figures are “directly communicated to the prime minister and the president of the republican assembly”, explains CM.

“But the appeals have been ignored, and the debt – and respective interest – has aggravated, reaching around €30 million this year”.

An appeal to CSTAF is all that people and businesses owed money can do, adds the paper.

But with not enough money set aside in the state budget, the debts look like continuing to accrue.

CM explains that in 2011 – when debts were standing at €16 million – the state budget had only €1000 set aside for compensation payments – yet the law apparently demands that “the value set aside in the state budget should match the total of court orders”.

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