Monday, 29 July: As the effects of the Government’s austerity policies continue to bite, each Portuguese citizen will be €792 worse off this year because of soaring taxes and falling incomes.
«Government forced to maintain cuts until 2014» reports the weekend broadsheet as distrust in the markets blocks any flexibility over Portugal’s budget deficit. Government forced to do its state budget with a deficit of 4% but that all depends on the Constitutional Court which might rule that the cuts are unconstitutional, refuse to pass them, and force the ‘troika’ to renegotiate greater leeway over cuts.
Correio da Manhã
«Álvaro intrigues against Portas», writes Correio da Manhã in an exclusive that reports how former Minister of the Economy, Álvaro Santos Pereira, who was removed in a recent Government reshuffle, cancelled a contract for torpedoes for Portugal’s controversial German-built submarines before he left office. The former minister claims non-compliance of the offsets contract by MAN, formerly called Man Ferrostaal, which made and supplied the two new generation non-nuclear submarines ordered for the Portuguese Navy in 2004 by Paulo Portas who was the then Minister of National Defence.
«Social Security closes down 39 old people’s homes in six months», says the tabloid Correio da Manhã as Government cuts in public spending start to erode the welfare state.
«CGD requests police investigation into the group’s property business» reports Público, as agents within the nation’s State-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos were allegedly criminally involved against various movers in crooked property deals related to companies within its sphere. Strong suspicions of irregularities.
«The Portuguese Exchequer Auditing body Tribunal de Contas (Court of Auditors) says a PPP in health will cost the taxpayer €6bn more» says Público after the Minister of Health, Paulo Macedo, denies there is a black hole in the nation’s health accounts. A health specialist claims that Portugal “still hasn’t learnt its lesson.”
Diário de Notícias
«Austerity takes €792 from each Portuguese this year» states Diário de Notícias as an increase in taxes and social security contributions and a fall in salaries will wipe off €7.9bn off people’s wealth in 2013. The Portuguese will pay €2.4bn more in IRS Income Tax than in 2012 while, on the other hand, gross salary incomes, according to data just out from the National Statistics Institute – INE – will register a fall of €5.5bn, in part explained by a reduction in jobs and a worsening in unemployment. All told, Portuguese family incomes are down by a total of €7.9bn in 2013 which represents almost €800 per person, a cut which has resulted in Portugal’s need to balance its foreign trade deficit.
«Number of foreign tourists soars by 20%» says Diário de Notícias as instability in North Africa is diverting tourists to Southern Europe.
Jornal de Notícias
«We’ll earn on average €792 less in 2013» says Jornal de Notícias, as the expected fall in work income will be around €7.9m as a result of an increase in IRS and a lowering in gross income according to the latest statistics published by the National Statistics Institute INE.
«Dragons only know how to win» says Jornal de Notícias on FC Porto’s 1:0 win against Celta deVigo over the weekend in which crack player Jackson scored the victory goal in his début match in front of the fans. The paper also highlights the death of Benfica former president Fernando Martins who was much beloved by the Lisbon football club and who came to be known as the “Lord of the Third Terrace” because he built the stadium’s third seating terrace.
«Six billion euro black hole in health PPPs doesn’t exist» reports i as the health ministry dismisses the exchequer audit court’s (TC) warnings of “excessive optimism” and “sub-estimation” as the Government could face an estimated black hole of €6bn resulting from public-private partnerships in the health sector. The TC recognises that some financial responsibilities in question have “yet to be contracted” but made its projections taking into account the “shelf life” of four hospitals whose construction and maintenance was farmed out to private companies for 30 years. For the time being the health minister says that the warnings in the TC report are “debatable” and that future projected costs made by the TC from PPPs are “unrealistic and “not very accurate.”
«Secret services: Silva Carvalho says that the new law “is a silly project by silly people» as the former spook says he doesn’t like the Government’s new proposed policy to force secret service agents to declare if they are masons or not. The proposals from the PSD and CDS which changes the rules for secret service agents were received by former spy Silva Carvalho with criticism. The ex-director of SIED said the ideas from the majority were nothing more than a “silly project from silly people.”
«Dividends and assets to be exempt from IRC corporation tax payments in 2014» reports the business daily as Portugal makes a bit to attract more investment. The Commission for the reform of the IRC has presented its report with its final proposals. Apart from arguing for a reduction in IRC to 19% it is proposing a new regime which will eliminate triple taxation on companies investing abroad. Business leaders agree with the changes and want more tax reductions.
«Public debt soars to nigh on 140% under new rules» says Diário Económico.
Jornal de Negócios
«Companies will not be able to offset the interest they pay on bank loans over one million against their taxes», reports Jornal de Negócios, as the business daily explains the Government’s new tax reforms which will come on line by 2014 and includes an end to triple taxation on assets and dividends, easier access to special regimes for large groups and IRC corporation tax being slashed by two percentage points by 2014. Small companies will see their tax regimes simplified and the Government is to seek political consensus for the reforms after a week of public consultation.
«Goodbye President» says A Bola as it headlines on the death of Benfica former popular football club president Fernando Martins (1917-2013) who died on Sunday at the age of 96 and was one of the presidents who made the most impact on the club despite only being in the post for six years.
«Vacancy at Baliza», reports Record, as Benfica trainer Jorge Jesus wants to sign competitor for Artur. Marovic convinces trainer. Benfica is awaiting reinforcement for Baliza who could shadow Artur, as was the case two seasons ago when the Brazilian fought over his position with Eduardo.
«Jackson – it all happened quicker than lightning» reports O Jogo, as Colombian FC Porto player scores five goals in five games but in his latest game didn’t do so well. In a 1:0 win against Celta de Vigo, the game suffered from a lacklustre performance all around and Paulo Fonseca’s comments “we’re still a long way off from what we could do.”