Government has duty to use surplus for more ambitious social measures – UGT

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UGT defended today that the Government “has the duty” to use part of the surplus that has been registered to adopt more ambitious social measures that ensure more stability to the middle class, according to a statement released by the organization.

In a resolution approved by the union’s national secretariat, UGT said that “the Government has the duty to use part of this surplus to adopt more ambitious, more structural social measures that guarantee the middle class greater stability in the current context.

According to UGT, the executive should focus on “social benefits that respond to the drop in household disposable income, action on the banking sector and on mortgage interest rates, or a tax reduction that allows a reduction in the prices of essential goods.

“The State, at a time when it has a significant budget surplus, cannot continue to act like the worst employers, for which the distribution of wealth never has a right moment, due to the fact that sometimes it is in crisis, and other times it is necessary to safeguard against future crisis,” argued the UGT.

According to the organization, the “increase in salaries is and will continue to be the priority for Portuguese workers”, but “a budget surplus such as the one already verified, and especially in a framework of difficulties for many families, for whom their salaries are insufficient to meet growing expenses, places the Government before the imperative to assume more responsibilities, abandon some caution and do more, do better and do it with more scope”.

The entity said that it “does not accept and vehemently refutes the recent statements of the President of the ECB [Christine Lagarde] who, as happened in previous crises, comes to Portugal to say that it is wages and social protection that should be sacrificed while others earn millions.

UGT also demanded “the application of the progression accelerator to all workers, regardless of the nature of their contract, as a first measure to start salary recovery and the valorization of careers in the Public Administration” as well as bigger increases for workers in the banking sector.

The State recorded a surplus of 722 million euros until May, in public accounting, an improvement of 1,046 million euros compared to the same period in 2022, announced today the Ministry of Finance.

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