The parliamentary work of the first legislative session of the legislature ended in the last week of July, in a year that was completely atypical due to the pandemic caused by Covid-19. The pandemic did not suspend democracy at all and, in this context, I emphasize the importance of parliamentary work for the construction of a more equitable, congruent and just society.
An example of this is the proposal for the creation of the social internet tariff that the Parliamentary Group of the Socialist Party presented in a resolution format, in order to combat inequalities in access to digital. A clear and pragmatic proposal, in which measures are defined that promote effective access to the network, and which aims to promote inclusion and digital literacy by the most disadvantaged sections of the population.
We live in new times, in a new world. The pandemic caused by Covid-19 accelerated the urgency of measures related to the process of inclusion in the digital transition we are experiencing. Many services started to be performed through a screen and even the face-to-face meetings are gradually being replaced by meetings through virtual platforms. Digital has definitely entered our lives, changing the way we communicate and solve many issues that we are faced with daily.
The attribution of this right must be done through an automatic, simple and accessible to the citizen process. No one should be left out of access to digital. Obviously, other issues, such as network access on equal terms throughout the territory, is something that should be everyone's goal. It is not acceptable that parts of the country do not have network coverage. It is a form of inequality that must continue to be tackled.
The creation of a social tariff for access to internet services was one of the main priorities assumed by the Government in the Digital Transition Action Plan, Portugal Digital, presented in March. A measure that will allow the most disadvantaged populations to consult and use digital public services, access to homebanking or manage their email account. All operations that require an internet connection.
It is, in fact, imperative to create a social tariff which - like the social electricity tariff, created in 2010 - will reduce the financial burden of the most vulnerable consumers. The price factor must not be discriminatory when accessing the network, and this universal access to quality services must be based on affordable prices. In electricity, more than 800 thousand families benefited from a 33,3% discount on the bill.
While elected to the Assembly of the Republic, one of the main missions I undertake is to combat the asymmetries and inequalities that occur, whatever their nature and seeking that everyone has the same opportunities. The creation of the social internet tariff is, therefore, another step in this path of equity. A fair and worthwhile goal.