Discussion on lowering VAT on electricity “is populism on the loose”


Nhis space for weekly commentary on SIC, Luís Marques Mendes considered that the political discussion generated around the fall in the VAT gives electricity in the State Budget for 2020 it has been “a competition for popularity” of the various party forces.

“This is populism on the loose. (…) A war to see which party is more consumer friendly. Everyone wants to be popular and look good in photography”, reflected the former Social Democratic leader.

Starting with PSD, the commentator noted that if the party led by Rui Rio “was consistent with his speech”, he should want to lower the VAT for businesses and not for domestic consumption.

“If the PSD it says, and well, that the priority is economic growth, so energy should go down first for companies. It would be to reduce the so-called context costs. Only it is more popular to do the opposite. Therefore, coherence goes to the nettles “, he stressed.

But, for Marques Mendes, the social democrats are not the only ones entitled to criticism. Recalling that the “PCP and BE say that it is necessary to relieve the costs of families more needy“, the jurist stressed that these parties, in wanting to” lower the VAT for all at the same time “, are benefiting those who have more,” which “is not socially fair”.

In this plan, the former minister defended that the Government’s solution, in lowering the VAT depending on consumption, “it is more correct and fairer”.

Even so, Marques Mendes also points the finger at the Socialist Executive, stressing that the Government threatens “veiled with a crisis if the measure is approved by the opposition”.

“The Government is not going to open any crisis and, if it did, it would be heavily penalized. This situation is not the same as that of the teachers’ crisis. Neither close nor far. In the question of teachers, unpopularity and opportunism were obvious. Here, the measure is popular and some exaggeration of the opposition does not justify a crisis “, he analyzed.

Finally, the Social Democrat concluded that he does not believe that the proposal will be approved. However, if he moves forward, Marques Mendes guaranteed that the Executive led by António Costa has only two paths: Either “respect the decision that is made in democracy” or, “if you consider it illegal, go to the European Commission and the courts”.


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