Happy New Year, your bills are going to be higher. That is the unwelcome message for the people of Portugal where the cost of many essential goods and services is due to go up by more than their salaries in 2008.
Bread is set to rise by between 10% and 30%, but it is anticipated wage increases will average around an inflation linked 2%. Energy is one of the essentials that will increase in price, with natural gas up almost 6%, while the power regulator is proposing a rise in the cost of electricity of just under 3%.
Motorway tolls will rise by an average of 2.5%. One infuriated driver said: “It’s completely over the top. To go from Porto to Lisbon you pay nearly 19 euros in tolls. It’s way too much. And frankly, you’re not exactly getting good value.”
Public transport fares are due to increase by 3.9%, but the one piece of good news is that the minimum wage in Portugal will go up by 5.7%.