The general lines of the state budget have already been presented by the Government to parliamentary parties, as well as to social partners. The government team that spoke to the parties included the Minister of Finance (Fernando Medina), as well as the ministers of the Presidency (Mariana Vieira da Silva) and of Parliamentary Affairs (Ana Catarina Mendes).

Initial reactions

Initial reactions from the PSD, Chega and PAN parties all included “austerity”, in reference to the government refusing to accompany the increase in inflation with increases in income (salaries and pensions), preferring instead to initiate measures that they believe will control prices.

Paulo Mota Pinto, the new parliamentary leader of PSD, said that "the Government has not committed itself, it has not assumed that there will be no loss of income. The Government's objective is to avoid the contamination [of inflation], a recessive spiral, we understand that, although there is a hidden return of a certain austerity due to the foreseeable loss of income, namely in salaries directly controlled by the State". According to Paulo Mota Pinto, the Government reiterated its conviction that inflation "is a temporary phenomenon, although stressing that it could not predict how long this temporary period will be".

Difficult context

Inês Sousa Real from the PAN party used the same expression: "We are in fact facing a difficult context in which the Government is somehow leading us to a path of possible austerity. We can call it what we want, but the truth is that these are difficult years." Therefore, in her view, and "in a context in which the Government has already come to say that it does not want to increase salaries, it is essential that the tax burden families and companies can be alleviated".

André Ventura, from Chega, said that the "feeling" he got is that a "certain dose of austerity" is coming - although at the same time he guaranteed that the members of the Executive with whom he spoke to tried to deny that tax increases are envisaged.

Stubbornness

The Left Bloc, not wanting to put this government in the same bag as the Passos Coelho government (2011-2015), explicitly refused to talk about "austerity".

Pedro Filipe Soares said instead that the responses that the Executive foresees for inflation will have a "very limited impact" on fuel prices. In other words: "There is a stubbornness that we cannot accept: when we look at the galloping inflation that will lead to greater pressure on families, the consequence that there is on the Government's side is that it does not want to change the policy of income and wages."

The PCP party also criticised the absence of measures such as "control and maximum price fixing", adding that the proposal "does not respond to the central issues in our country".

As expected on the PS side, the opposite is guaranteed: "By protecting prices, in particular those of energy and agri-food, we are protecting the income of families", said the new PS parliamentary leader, Eurico Brilhante Dias.