The PCP placed this Wednesday on the table in the areas of wages and workers’ rights (with a special focus on the general increase in wages), strengthening public services, public investment and control of companies. and strategic sectors, increased social protection and wealth distribution. There are 46 proposals that were enunciated one by one by parliamentary leader João Oliveira in the Assembly of the Republic just hours after the PCP meeting with António Costa on the State Budget 2021 (OE 2021).
They are all “urgent measures” and for which the PCP wants an answer even before the new budget and with which the party intends to show that it counts in the equation. “These are immediate and urgent responses that must be taken immediately, regardless of the OE discussion, and others that must be considered within the budget” to respond to the pandemic crisis and the country’s structural problems, warns João Oliveira .
THE timing it is not innocent: it will be a way of marking territory and putting pressure on the government, showing what the party took to the prime minister at the morning meeting. It also serves for the communists to send a message to the Government – which may think that it does not need the PCP to approve the budget because the Bloc will be enough – and to the President of the Republic – who warned that there is no sense in having political crises now. “It is a set of proposals that respond to what the PCP says: it counts to find solutions; it certainly does not count for speculations about artificially created political crises, regardless of the high sponsorships they may have from the head of government or the head of state. ”
About what the PCP discussed in the morning with António Costa, not a word, and even less about possible voting directions in the budget. The parliamentary leader of the PCP insisted that this assessment will depend, in the vote in general, on what the document that arrives on the 12th to Parliament includes — and whether or not the pressing issues for the CFP are there — and then, in the final global vote, of what the party is able to enroll in the discussion in the specialty. “The experience of the past should lead us to be cautious” about the announcement of measures that later do not materialize and advises that “check in the concrete”What is inscribed. “Only in the face of the proposal is it possible to decide on the vote.” Therefore, the procession still goes in the churchyard, Jerónimo de Sousa would say.
Admitting that not all 46 proposals have the same weight, the communist leader stresses the need for a general increase in wages, both in the public and in the private sector, starting with the minimum wage – the “political commitment” for this general increase tops the list – and refuses the ghosts that this will bring more crisis. Among the measures are, for example, the alteration to the remuneration table for the civil service, the suspension of dismissals, the elimination of moderator fees, a public employment program with the hiring of 25 thousand workers per year until 2024, reinforcement of the funds for social passes, setting up a national public transport company, redeeming PPPs, a national housing program, increasing pensions and pensions, reinforcing family allowances, advancing free childcare.
After a first meeting in July, following the Amending Budget — against which the communists voted for the first time since 2016 — in which António Costa insisted on dismissing the idea that he was approaching the PSD, the prime minister returned to sit with the parties at the official residence. Around the table were the Finance team and the PCP delegation made up of the secretary general, Jerónimo de Sousa, parliamentary leader João Oliveira, and members of the political committee of the party’s central committee, Jorge Cordeiro and Vasco Cardoso — the hard core that, since the beginning of the so-called “contraption”, has taken over conversations with Costa. But if this was the first meeting with the Prime Minister after the holidays, the meetings with João Leão’s team were frequent during the summer. Therefore, the extensive list of measures now announced by João Oliveira is not, at all, a surprise for the finance office.