This week, we discussed and generally approved the State Budget for the year 2021 (OE2021). This debate marks a long and demanding period, where deputies are dedicated to the budget process, participating in successive hearings of members of the Government and other entities, followed by a period of debate and voting on many hundreds of proposed amendments, as well as articles of the Government's proposal, the most important Law Proposal of each year.
In democracy it is a good sign that there are alternatives. The plurality of options and choices is essential. Thus, I am not in favor of central blocs, which slow down the democratic process. Historically, these options in Europe have led to extremism and populism.
The 2015 legislative elections led to a change in the national political paradigm and it became possible to understand the left in matters of government program and budget. In view of this, it is at least strange that one of the agents of these agreements will throw the towel on the floor in the budget, without having carried out the normal specialty work. It is strange that he prefers not to play the game in proposals to improve the country.
The budgetary irresponsibility that the Left Bloc has evidenced places this party in the bands of the protest party, far from the conciliatory dialogues that have made it possible to build the path followed since 2015. I hope that they will churn their way and do not insist on retreats, resisting the idea of negotiating budgets at the moment that the country most needs consensus. I have many doubts that left-wing voters understand this attitude.
This is a Budget that supports those who need it most, at a time that is highly challenging for society, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact not only on health, but also on social and economic levels. A Budget that contemplates the creation of extraordinary support for workers' income, a measure so that nobody, due to the pandemic, is below the poverty line, which has a reference value of 501 euros.
A budget that reveals a bet on public investment with a growth of more than 23%, and that provides for structural investments in areas such as sustainable mobility, roads, health infrastructures and digital transition in education, to which should be added investments within the scope of new Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) as explained in the OE2021 proposal report.
A budget that has in Health an absolute priority with the hiring of over 4.200 professionals so that the fight against Covid-19 on the front line is more efficient, with the Executive reserve 200 million euros for the reinforcement of the NHS budget.
But this is also a Budget that points to the green economy, making a clear bet on decarbonisation and where, for example, there is also a decrease in VAT on electricity, a measure that covers more than 80% of consumers in the electricity market in Portugal and provides for a 50% increase for large families.
This is a Budget that, with responsibility, the left can only make viable. In the specialty, the work will continue, with a view to the natural objective of improving the document.