Portugal's public deficit at its lowest point
The government announces a historic result seven months before the legislative elections", underlines the site Eco. Such a low public deficit is a first since the "Carnation Revolution" in 1974.
According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), in 2018, Portugal's public deficit was 0.5 % of gross domestic product. While the public accounts imbalance had slipped to 3 % the previous year.
There are two reasons for this improvement, according to the INE. "The increase in tax revenues and the increase in social security contributions, reflecting the evolution of economic activity and employment." On the opposition side, reports Eco, we welcome this result "positive", but the main right-wing parties (PSD and CDS-PP) recall that it was obtained thanks to "maximum taxes and minimum public services".
Criticism supported by a columnist on the liberal site Observador. According to him, the socialist Prime Minister, António Costa, is disrespecting his voters and political rivals by hiding the fact that the deficit has been reduced thanks to "to a tax bludgeoning that has always existed and to budget cuts in the functioning of the social state".
Mário Centeno, president of the Eurogroup and therefore boss of the eurozone, has already set the course for 2019: the executive expects a deficit of 0.2 % of GDP. "On the way to zero deficit, taxes and investment will be back on the agenda", announced today Público