Interview for TV news. Fernando Medina defends the “account in the system” and the “wisdom” of the Government

“We are living in a time of great uncertainty, and that is why it is important to be wise”, he said, “not to take decisions that later we will have to change, to take a step bigger than a leg”.

The government preferred to divide the pension increases by half, due to the uncertainty of what happened at the end of 2022.

There was much that the government “didn’t know”, such as the increase in energy prices or the Chinese recovery after the pandemic, said Fernando Medina, justifying the idea of ​​the head “increasing the pension” and ensuring that it is maintained between 2022 and 2023 “the purchasing power of retirees”.

“What the law said was that in one year it was 0% and in another year it was 8% and what we did was four in one year and four in another year”, justified the finance minister. “It was achieving what was in our goal and what we predicted”.

“What we did was control what happened”, he defended.

Without directly responding to the criticism of the President of the Republic, who asked about the possibility of an increase, Fernando Medina said “we can take decisions only if we don’t know”, rejecting another way to increase the pension last January.

Six months after the presentation of the budget that predicted economic growth of one percent, “today we are sure that there will be no recession in 2023”, he added, emphasizing the confidence that “the economy will grow significantly”.

“The number of pensions has been used”, the minister also defended. “In 2024 everything will resume its routine and apply a single increase”, he confirmed, recalling “the extraordinary increase in pensions from June this year”.

The finance minister now expects Portugal’s economy to grow by 1.8 percent in 2023.

When asked about the possibility of reducing the deficit quickly so as not to wait for 2017 to increase the surplus, Fernando Medina replied that not doing this “is a political decision”, explaining that “our accounts are in the right direction, according to what they have found. views of the budget deficit”.

“To continue, this will not allow us to do something like the extraordinary increase in pensions” planned for this year in addition to the 4 percent announced this Monday, he added. “Politics is the art of thinking”.

“We have to think about the goals,” he said, emphasizing the importance of having “accounts in order”.

Fernando Medina also revealed that the Government plans to reduce the IRS which “covers many taxpayers”, favoring the lowest income and married couples with children.

The Ministry of Finance recalled that the additional eight billion euros received in taxes have already been returned “to families” in 2022, giving a check of 125 euros to each taxpayer plus 50 euros per child.

“We have had an opportunity for those who need it the most”, he said, adding that “we will reduce the IRS in 2023”. “Down below to continue that way”.

“I just want to commit to what I’m sure I can do”, he said about the big cuts. “If we can go forward, we will go there”.

The most important, however, is “supporting more family income, and this we do through the reduction of personal tax, this decision about pensions and the increase of support for different groups”.

Future decisions will depend, however, on “the progress of our economy”, warned the chief financial officer, remembering that “we are living in a time of great uncertainty” every day. and “keeping our feet on the ground”.

“When we have it, we do what we have to share” and not make “promises we can’t keep”, if we don’t have it. Therefore, he admits that the reduction of the IRS “can be done”, and promises to “work to achieve this goal”.

The government estimates an increase of 5.1 percent in 2023 and Fernando Medina considers that “it would be unrealistic for someone to say with certainty that there is a wage benefit that compensates for the losses that inflation translates into”.

“That’s why we must do what we can do at any time”, he stressed, remembering that inflation is decreasing and will continue to decrease, and also protect the zero VAT in the food basket, because in this sector the reduction of inflation. it has been difficult to achieve.

“What the Portuguese expect is that the Government is doing well, that it governs directly on the problems of families”, said the official, considering that the dissatisfaction of the voters who gave the majority to the Socialist Party is linked to “inflation” and rising interest rates.

The government, despite this “must always remain focused, very stable” rejecting the idea that the announcements released on Monday should be a direct response to the resentment of the Portuguese.

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