Forum for Competitiveness calls for recovery program less focused on the State

Luís Mira Amaral, chairman of the board of the organ's General Assembly, strongly criticizes Costa Silva's vision and above all the Recovery and Resilience Plan which, in addition to starting from a wrong diagnosis, focus excessively on the State.

Cristina Bernardo

The Competitiveness Forum accuses the Government of asking companies far more than what the State itself can do in terms of the minimum wage. In its conjuncture note, the Forum also takes the opportunity to point out the weak recovery of the economy in this third quarter of the year, according to the opinion expressed by Luís Mira Amaral, chairman of the entity's General Meeting.

The Forum points out that between 2009 and 2017 the Social Support Index (IAS), which replaced the minimum wage in 2007, was frozen, having undergone minimal updates in recent years. In 2020, the State increased the IAS by 3,05 euros, while raising the minimum wage by 35 euros, that is, it required private individuals to make an effort more than ten times greater than their own.

Despite the slight recovery in the industry, strongly motivated by the performance of the construction sector, the retail trade interrupted in August the recovery trajectory that it experienced, in addition to the following month having brought a breach of the confidence of consumers and distributors.

Tourism, too, due to the weight it represents in the country's wealth, deserves a note for its extremely slow recovery. With more than 70% of declines in income, it is the domestic market that maintains some conditions of survival for the sector, despite the lower revenue generated by each resident guest when compared to non-residents.

Thus, the national GDP will have grown only between 0,2% and 0,5% in a chain analysis, a weak recovery and unable to minimally offset the losses recorded in the first half of the year.

The Forum strongly criticizes Costa Silva's plan, something he had already done in previous notes, and the government's Recovery and Resilience Plan, pointing to a greater structural dependence of the economy on the State and concentration of resources on expenditure and investment public to the detriment of support to private individuals.

For the Forum, “this strategy is wrong, in addition to starting from a poor diagnosis that assumes that Portugal's problems originate in an ultraliberal policy” that, according to the institution, “never existed”. The consequence may be the transformation of support into current public expenditure, as has already happened with previous Community Support Frameworks.

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