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Portuguese bemoan "unfair" tax rise for workers


Portuguese bemoan "unfair" tax rise for workers

Portugal’s tough new austerity measures have been widely criticised as an attack on workers.

The government’s announced a raft of changes, including an increase in social security contributions from 11 to 18 per cent, which roughly equates to one month’s salary.

In a bid to boost employment, which stands at a record high above 15 percent, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coehlo also wants to introduce a cut in companies social security contributions from 23.75 to 18 per cent.

Lisbon newspaper kiosk owner, Maria Menezes, described the move as unfair for the working class: “There are other ways of raising money, and saying this will create more jobs is a lie.”

Sentiments shared by antiques dealer, Francisco Sliva: “The public deficit is better but people’s lives haven’t improved. There’s more unemployment and these measures won’t lead to more jobs, I’m absolutely certain of that,” he said.

Across-the-board tax rises and spending cuts have already seen thousands of Portuguese take to the streets in protest. The country was forced to seek a bailout last year and entered its deepest recession since the 1970s.