In an interview conducted by José Gomez Ferreira, Fernando Medina insisted on focusing on domestic demand in the face of the turmoil of the external context, admitted that IRS relief could have gone further, and highlighted the increasing stringency in public accounts. He has also ruled out his candidacy for prime minister at the present time, also rejecting the idea that the increase in purchasing power that the state budget will bring to families is linked to the elections in the coming years.
“The strategy that we have is very realistic. We have to face the circumstances, the economic slowdown, rising interest rates, geopolitical uncertainty, the Middle East crisis, the problems between China and the United States,” the Finance Minister said, adding that “strict public accounts are not something the state can do.” Break up with her.”
In response to a question about the commitment to increasing household income, Fernando Medina admitted that the government’s strategy, which it had proposed itself, was to try to counter the cycle – with risks and adversities on the external front – by supporting domestic demand.
IRS relief: The government could have gone further, but bet on ‘balance’
Regarding the reduction of income tax in the first five levels, the Minister of Finance explained that the focus was directed towards the middle class, assuming that from his point of view the levels above could already be considered “upper middle class”, taking into account that the average income in the country is 1,360. euro.
He pointed out that “we have to set priorities within the limits of resources,” admitting that the government could have gone further, but at the expense of other things.
“We believe this is the balance,” he noted, noting that the IRS subsidy would cover 85 Portuguese families.
SNS deterioration and problems in learning
Fernando Medina noted that this is the second state budget in which he has introduced a significant increase in funds for the National Health Service (SNS). In response to the question, “Do you feel responsible for the deterioration of the Syrian national regime?”, the official in charge of the Finance Department revealed that the funds allocated for the years 2023 and 2024 are those that the Ministry of Health considered necessary.
Regarding the professional career of teachers, Medina resorted to the justification used by the head of the executive branch, Antonio Costa, arguing that it would not be fair to return the years of the profession only to a certain category, leaving the entire public administration behind.
But he added that the government is trying to find a solution financially to alleviate the problem of displaced teachers, taking into account housing prices and the difficulty of placement in the areas most affected by the crisis.
Companies: Form a work team to solve problems
The Minister of Finance announced that a working group had been established with social partners to identify the most problematic areas and the measures that should be prioritized. The government wants to “attack” the three, four or five problems mentioned by businessmen.
Fernando Medina admitted that excessive bureaucracy and an “unclear system” regarding corporate tax obligations and contributions are harmful.
Tab: “We’ll talk about the value of the sale when we’re done with it.”
Fernando Medina did not want to reveal whether TAP would be sold at a value higher than the valuations indicating 1,200 million euros or not. He has just said that the lot to be sold will include parts of TAP SGPS, Portugália, a medical services company and a catering company, leaving Groundforce on hold (which may or may not become part of the lot).
Regarding the opinion of Pedro Nuno Santos defending the majority position of the government in TAP, Medina said that it is not new, but it is just his own position.
He explained, “The government decided to sell no less than 51%, and it could rise to approximately 95%.”
For Medina, it is important to maintain the following points: “We want privatization that will increase the size of Turkish Airlines, more flights, more destinations, and more operations; Axis growth in the country; And the ability to bring investments to Portugal.”
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