Portugal announces higher taxes as strike is called

Thursday, October 4, 2012
By Paul Martin

BBCUK
3 October 2012

Portugal has announced several new austerity measures, which were met with a call for a huge strike next month.

These include reducing Portugal’s income tax brackets from eight to five. This replaces a social security tax rise that was shelved due to its deep unpopularity.

Portugal’s largest trade union, the CGTP, called the strike for mid-November to oppose the latest moves.

Portugal must get its deficit below the European Union’s target of 3% of GDP.

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar also unveiled a 4% “extraordinary” tax.

With the tax bracket changes, the average tax rise should increase from 9.8% in 2012 to 13.2% in 2013.

“The adjustment is harder than we anticipated,” Mr Gaspar said, as he also raised the unemployment forecast for 2013 to 16.4% – up slightly from 16%.

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