The State Budget was approved, with the main changes to the original draft coming from the hand of PS, PAN and Livre.
More than half a year after the rejection of the first draft, the State Budget for 2022 finally received the “green light” in the Portuguese Parliament, with only the votes in favour of the Socialist Party (PS), which is enough since it has an absolute majority. Livre and PAN abstained, as well as PSD Madeira MPs, while the remaining parties voted against the document.
The prime minister argued that “this is a Budget that will allow young people, the middle class and families on lower incomes to pay less personal income tax. It will allow pensioners to receive, as of July, a special increase in their pensions with retroactive effect to January, as well as reinforce social facilities, starting with the national health service, also with the start of the free nursery programme as of the beginning of the next school year.”
“We have turned the page on this crisis. So, now, we really need to roll up our sleeves and get to work. This is what the country needs, this is what the Portuguese deserve and this is what they surely want,” António Costa added.
Portugal’s Finance minister, Fernando Medina, also stressed that “today, the Parliament closes the last chapter of the crisis”. It is the day when “the stability and normality are recovered and we begin a new phase of reforms to modernise the country,” he argued.
Despite the Socialist Party’s absolute majority, the government had promised “openness to dialogue” during the electoral campaign, something that the former partners of the ruling coalition say did not happen. PS ended up approving proposals from almost all the parties, especially from Livre and PAN, but they were mostly symbolic and had little budgetary impact. In total, 119 amendments were approved, 66 of which were proposed by the opposition.