In the presentation of the proposed measures for the State Budget 2021, the president of the Confederação Empresarial de Portugal (CIP), António Saraiva, admitted that he hoped that the proposals “will be well received by the Government”, since they were prepared with the objective of safeguarding the future of Portuguese companies.
“Unemployment is rampant to levels above 10%”, warned the leader of the “bosses”, who took advantage of the elaboration of the proposals for the next State Budget to propose the “encourage investment” in companies, at a time when a return to 'normal' work is inevitable after the pandemic.
In the presentation of the proposals, Óscar Gaspar, vice-president of the General Council and member of the CIP board, argued that Portugal is in a “particularly serious situation”, being on the verge of a “historic” and “deep” technical recession, pointing out that this will be a reality to take into account later this year and that the recovery will only depend on what is done in the budget document.
Even so, Óscar Gaspar praised the national entrepreneurs, since they "have shown a very strong resilience, have managed to keep jobs and have new opportunities". After an inquiry, the vice president explained that the vast majority of entrepreneurs consider that the measures imposed by the Executive, for business recovery, fell "short" and that "they need to go further".
In these proposals, CIP presented temporary and permanent measures, arguing that companies need more support than those given by the Government.
In one of the temporary measures, CIP presented a system of carry back, because it is “obvious that most companies will have a loss” this year, and the loss presented this year should be able to “be reflected in previous years”. Óscar Gaspar explained that the idea presented is innovative, that it has a great impact but that it is already being applied in other countries, namely New Zealand, and that it has been quite satisfactory.
CIP further divides the permanent measures into five chapters: Capitalize to invest, Stimulate and attract investment for tax purposes, Qualify and requalify to compete, Improve the business environment and Invest with rationality.
Questioned by Jornal Económico, after the presentation, regarding the 9,3% contraction forecast released by the Public Finance Council, since the institutions have aggravated their forecasts and none are below 9%, António Saraiva admits that they expected these numbers but they wait “for the end of the year to understand the dimension of what the pandemic has generated to the economy”.
Even so, the president of the confederation points out that “we foresaw, not only for Portugal, but for Europe and the world, the economy will obviously be in recession”, being that “our country, the dimension we have”, is “We must not let our arms down”, since we have to overcome the pandemic, find the vaccine or a drug that “overcomes this problem and protects our health” and “we must develop methodologies”, since there are still challenges to be faced outdated for the economy, such as the “transition to the digital society, combating climate change, decarbonisation, transport network and infrastructure”.