Mariana Mortágua criticizes “Government tricks” in pensions and IRS

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The coordinator of the Left Bloc (BE), Mariana Mortágua, criticized today the “Government’s tricks” in the payment of pensions and the management of the IRS collection, indicating that in neither case is there a real increase in income.

“These are reflections of the maneuvers that the Government is finding to avoid increasing income by saying that it will increase it,” the BE leader began by saying after a visit to the weekly fair in Estela, in Póvoa de Varzim, Porto district.

On the issue of reducing withholding at source of the Personal Income Tax (IRS), Mariana Mortágua fears that it will give taxpayers a false sense of increased income, when, in practice, “the tax to be paid will be the same.

“There was no reduction, what emerges is a different way of collecting [the tax]. It’s a trick that may alleviate a little now, but that in the future can be very expensive, when people understand that they won’t get a refund of the IRS as they expected,” he analyzed.

The party leader recalled that “many people wait for the IRS refund to pay for expenses, vacations, or car insurance,” but warned that with this new system “that money won’t come because there was no withholding.”

Mariana Mortágua also classified as a “trick” the interim increase in pensions, which will be paid this month, considering that “it is nothing more than an advance payment due to pensioners.

“The Government went back and forth with this issue, created confusion for pensioners and after a few months saw that it had a larger budget surplus than it had anticipated, deciding to do a trick by presenting it as a new measure, but paying what was already the law,” he pointed out.

The bloquista leader considered that the executive “takes and then gives, or shuffles and gives again”, but underlined that “in practice it is always the same salaries and taxes, leaving people poorer”.

Portugal, he reiterated, “is now a poorer country,” where “food and housing prices continue to rise, leaving people in increasing difficulty.

“The government gave up on lowering house prices. The only thing that existed was rent support, which people expected, but when the time came to receive it they changed the rules, pointing out that what counted [to receive support] was gross income, leaving the beneficiaries ‘without ground’,” he criticized.

The Bloco de Esquerda leader also repudiated, in relation to the rents, that 20 thousand people who need this support haven’t received it yet because they don’t have a NIB (bank identification number) and recalled the party’s proposal for this subsidy to be paid through a postal order.

“We presented this proposal, which is very simple. The government can make this payment by postal order right now; it doesn’t have to wait until September to discuss the matter in Parliament,” concluded Mariana Mortágua.

Social Security pensioners will be the first taxpayers to feel the effect of the new withholding tables, which begin to be applied this month, with this change coming on top of the 3.57% interim increase in pensions.

Pensioners will receive their pensions on Monday, having already been processed under the rules of the new IRS withholding tables, which, unlike the ones in force until now, operate on a similar logic to that used for the annual calculation of the tax.

For many pensioners, the new withholding model will translate into a reduction in the tax that is paid monthly (in the form of an advance).

This increase in monthly net income will result, however, for many people in a smaller IRS refund in about a year’s time, since some of it is a result of the reduced tax paid each month.

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