Whichever way they seek to present it, PS Socialists have imposed a tax load on Portuguese citizens that already exceeds the “enormous” pressure of the austerity years.
This is the claim of reports explaining that taxation hit a new record last year at 35.4% of GDP. That’s a full 1% more than the ‘unprecedented’ tax levels of 2015 when the country staggered to repay its bailout.
Sol carried the story over the weekend with a photograph of both the finance minister and prime minister talking behind their hands in opposite directions.
This is an election year and so far the Socialists are fending off ‘bad press’ – either in the form of stories of nepotism, or dilapidated public services and protesting nurses, teachers, doctors, judges, police and firefighters.
But the taxation formula is most definitely here to stay, economists tell Sol, because of the debt this country holds and has to repay.
The problem with the scenario is that not enough is being done to ‘guarantee future sustainability’ or ‘create a cushion for when conditions of finance alter’.
The fault, the paper is told, lies in the rules of Brussels.