Paulo Portas warns of the increase in IRS levels: "Does the tax system serve as a social elevator or not?"

This Monday, the State Budget for 2022 is presented and, although the details of the document are not yet known, Paulo Portas considers that one of the “most interesting points” already disclosed by António Costa” is the expansion of the IRS levels, which it is a progressive tax.

“Portugal will become, if everything is confirmed, the country in Europe with the highest levels”, underlines Paulo Portas in his weekly comment space on TVI, “Global”. “We are on a par with Luxembourg at the moment and we will have nine tiers, not the seven we have, and two more solidarity rates in the upper tiers.”

The European average is five levels and “countries that have citizens living with more prosperity do not point to too many levels”, says Portas. Germany and Belgium have four, the Netherlands have three, Sweden and Ireland have two and Hungary one.

According to Portas, in the short term, the division of levels can mean “a small relief of around 1.5% of the total that is paid in IRS to a portion of people in the lower half of these levels”.

But “Does the tax system serve the social elevator?”asks Paulo Portas. “The idea that I can work harder, improve my productivity, have more income and move up in life?”

“If the tax system has too many tiers, I am not encouraged to work harder or earn more income as I jump to the top tier”, warns the former Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Still on the Budget, he said: “We are coming out of the shock of the pandemic, I would like the budget to be seen above all in a medium-term path to recover what is crucial for us, investment and job creation, and therefore that it would help us to resolve the our macroeconomic problems, which are serious”.

Increase in fuel prices

This Monday, the price of diesel and gasoline increases. Could the state do anything to prevent it? “The Spaniards, Italians and French did it: it was the State who abdicated part of their income. In Portugal 60% of the price of diesel and gasoline are taxed”, explains Paulo Portas, recalling that last week the Assembly of the Republic “It approved a mechanism that tries to convince us that the problem is on the margins. But the problem is not there – it is in the tax system”, he says.

Does Poland not want to be in the European Union?

What happened this week in Poland “is a serious matter in itself due to the legal bomb that Poland has placed in the European Union”, says Paulo Portas.

“One of the principles for the internal market to work is that Community law takes precedence” and has been so since the founding of the EU. Now, “the Constitutional Court of Poland has come to say that the primacy is the internal constitutional law” and this “is absolutely unprecedented”. “They should have thought of this” before, stresses Portas, because “it’s not possible to have the best of both worlds. Either they want to be in Europe or they don’t want to be in Europe. And if they want to be, they have to accept what the other 26 accept, if not this blows up any possibility of the system working”.

The commentator recalls that “Poland has gained immensely with its entry into the European Union”, especially at the economic level – which is revealed in the GDP, in exports and in the funds that it has already received and will still receive.

For Paulo Portas “this is not acceptable” and the European Commission will have to “go its own way” and “safeguard the treaties”.

We spend too much time on social media

Regarding the recent blackouts on social networks associated with Facebook, Paulo Portas underlines how much this business has grown in the last decade, but also warns about the consequences of its use – regarding data protection or the dissemination of false information, for example .

The countries where people spend more time on social media are the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina: “They are not great models of development”, warns Paulo Portas. This is “time taken away from family, work, community”.

In Portugal, people spend an average of 1 hour and 49 minutes a day on social networks: “It is very close to the world average (2.18) and considerably above the European average.”

A suggestion: the movie “Cry Macho”

Among the suggestions made by Paulo Portas this week, the highlight goes to the movie “Cry Macho”, which is being shown in cinemas in Portugal. “I love Clint Eastwood, director, actor, western spaguetti or cult movies,” says Portas. In his opinion, “Cry Macho” “is a return to his origins and to the America he likes most, which he doesn’t see in New York or San Francisco”, underlining the 91-year-old director’s “extraordinary sensitivity” who does not hide neither the wrinkles nor his physical weakness.

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