Portuguese left wants to stop the housing bubble with a tax on speculators

  • ECO News
  • 11 September 2018

Bloco de Esquerda wants a new tax to be applied to those who profit from real estate speculation. Discussions regarding the tax introduction started in May, but no decision has been yet made.

Bloco de Esquerda (BE), the leftist side of the Portuguese democracy, is now introducing a penalty tax for real estate speculators. Catarina Martins, BE’s leader, explained to RTP3, a Portuguese channel, that the measure is part of their package of proposals for the State Budget of 2019, which BE’s militants are currently discussing with António Costa, the Portuguese Prime Minister.

“One of the biggest issues in this country is how the house prices are affecting the overall living costs”, the parliamentarian underlined in the interview to the Portuguese channel. The housing bubble is creating huge pressures in the sector of real estate, and BE suggests that the same measures applied to stock markets are integrated here: those investing in buying and selling “in short-term, getting high margins of profit, should pay a punitive IRS tax”.

This measure has been proposed in May and since then it has been discussed, according to Catarina Martins. However, no timespan for the tax was set yet and it is not clear when the tax would be introduced, or even what values they could be discussing for the tax.

“This tax is not going to solve everything, but it would be a clear step forward”, the head of BE stated.

The Leftists have also demanded that the measure introduced is not merely “symbolic” but rather “impactful, significant”. According to the left party, the tax introduction will bring three clear advantages: it will stop real estate speculation, it will increase government revenue and it will help to control the housing prices.

“It is vital to penalize those who are buying real estate to sell it afterwards with a high margin of profit very fast — because that is the reason behind the real estate bubble” Catarina Martins announced last Sunday.