Statement PCP Central Committee

Communiqué of the Central Committee of the PCP of October 24, 2021

The Central Committee of the PCP, meeting on October 24, 2021, analysed the situation of the country and the necessary response to the problems.

The country demands solutions

1. The country is faced with the consequences of decades of right-wing policies, which deepened injustices, inequalities and exploitation, as well as structural deficits in the productive, technological, energy and demographic fields.

The covid-19 epidemic has laid bare even more structural weaknesses and various vulnerabilities, worsened by the use that capital makes of it.

Portugal is today marked by low wages and pensions, structurally high unemployment, precariousness, rising cost of living - namely in energy and fuel, housing and food -, deindustrialisation, weakening of public services, by attacks on strategic sectors and by yielding to the interests of large economic groups.

The situation is only not more serious because the workers' struggle and the PCP's intervention forced solutions, overcoming resistance and obstacles.

The PCP was decisive in halting the course of national disaster imposed by the PSD/CDS government and by the troika, in order to guarantee the defence, restoration and achievement of rights.

It was in this sense that in 2015 the objective was set to interrupt this path of destruction of rights, without losing sight of the possibilities for progress that were implemented.

Possibilities that were known to be limited due to the PS's options regarding central issues, where it rejected proposals that responded to significant problems and sought, on the basis of non-compliance, to drag the implementation of measures, with captivations and cuts in investments, gimmicks for pressing home budgetary criteria determined by its submission to the impositions of the European Union and the interests of big capital.

In 2020 and 2021, the emergence of the epidemic imposed the need for immediate responses, for which the intervention of the PCP was equally decisive, in order to protect wages, rights, ensure the right to healthcare and guarantee social support, especially after the Supplementary Budget of 2020 went into an opposite direction, and that is why the PCP vote against it.

The response that was necessary and possible to give also made clearer the need to address the causes of the problems, which to a large extent already existed, but which were worsened by the epidemic.

It is this sense and position of response at every moment of what best serves the interests of workers and the people that the PCP maintains unchanged.

2.The country's situation and the problems it faces demand a response. This is the essential question that is posed to open perspectives for their overcoming.

This is where the energies and priorities of national policy must be focused. It is with this objective that the PCP has intervened. The answer cannot lie in the policies that placed the country in the situation it finds itself in.

Different options and a different path are needed, which place at the centre of political decisions the issues that affect the lives of the workers, the people and the country.

There are means and conditions to do this. It is not understandable that, if it is possible to give this response, it should be postponed, subordinating it to criteria and options opposed to the interests of the workers and the people.

It is necessary, in the State Budget and beyond it, to assume commitments and to give clear signs that point out a path for solving national problems and for raising the people's living conditions. It is these commitments and signs that the government and the PS refuse to accept.

Respond to problems, point out a perspective of future for current and new generations, create conditions for a better life, this is the goal that reflects the PCP's commitment to the workers, the people and the country.

A goal that asserts itself as an alternative to the PS’s class options and the reactionary projects of the PSD, CDS and their surrogates.

3. With the epidemic over, when huge financial resources are announced, the response to the problems facing the country cannot be postponed. The State Budget has to be inserted in this sense and cannot fail to be a concrete expression and translation of options that signal a path to solve the problems that affect the workers and the people.

When a global response is required, neither in the proposal for the State Budget for 2022, nor in other options - beyond it and equally decisive – we find commitments and signs by the government in this direction.

The decisive assessment is not only about what is in the State Budget proposal. It is also about what is not there and what the government considers or refuses beyond it, assuming an option that will translate into the progressive deterioration of wages, rights, public services, productive capacity.

4.The Central Committee of the PCP reaffirms the need for a response to the country's problems and for solutions that include:

Promoting sustained economic development and demanding a general increase in wages as a national emergency

There is no future for a country based on low wages. The valorisation of wages is inseparable from the abolishment of the grievous norms of labour legislation; the repeal of the expiry of collective bargaining and the application of the principle of the more favourable treatment to the worker; the increase in the National Minimum Wage to 850 euros, as part of a general increase in salaries; the restoration of the purchasing power of Public Administration workers instead of postponing it; the valorisation of careers and professions instead of their degradation; the valorisation of work and workers, namely the younger ones.

Guaranteeing the rights of children and parents, promoting birth rates, reversing the demographic decline.

There is no future without guaranteeing job stability, regulated working hours, housing, conditions to facilitate the decision to have children. This requires free nurseries for all children in 2022 and the construction of a public network of nurseries that the government continues to refuse; the restoration of the universalisation of family allowances as a child's right.

Valorising pensions, fighting poverty among the elderly

Extra increase in pensions, ensuring the restoration of purchasing power, including those that were frozen over the past few years due to the option of the PS government; eliminating the persistent cuts in the value of pensions of long contributory careers; the construction of a public network of nursing homes; full pension with 40 or more years of social security payments, to do justice to those who built this country with a lifetime of work.

Defending and strengthening the National Health Service as a guarantee of the Portuguese people to healthcare

A goal that calls for the valorisation of careers, pay and incentives to healthcare professionals, which contributes to their fixation and exclusive dedication to the NHS, essential for more medical appointments, tests, surgeries, to a family doctor and nurse for all, along with greater investment and recovery of management autonomy by the health units. An opposite option to that of the government, which favours the business of private healthcare groups, accelerating the degradation of the NHS, in fact putting its future at risk.

Defending and valorising public services to respond to the needs of populations and for territorial cohesion

In addition to investing in facilities, it is necessary to fix and valorise professionals, among other sectors, in education, justice, social security, security forces and services, and strengthen intervention in areas such as culture, science or sports. The country cannot see its public services being closed or weakened, transferred to the municipalities and on the path of privatisation.

Guaranteeing the right to decent housing, transport and mobility

It is urgent to intervene to provide stability and bring down the price of rents, which the government refuses, along with the promotion of public housing to meet the needs, estimated at 50 thousand dwellings. A progressive free public transport and the effective expansion of the offer to the whole country must be ensured.

Ensuring more fiscal justice, providing the country with the means to respond to what the country needs.

It is necessary to ease taxation on lower and intermediate incomes on the Income Tax (IRS), as well as on indirect taxes – of which the 23% VAT on electricity is an example -, and face, in fact, the tax privileges of big capital, instead of expanding them, as the government intends.

Stimulating economic activity, valorising national production and supporting micro, small and medium-sized companies

The country needs to ensure public control of strategic sectors such as banking, energy, transport, postal services and telecommunications, instead of watching the flight of millions of euros abroad every year, including to tax havens. We need to support, in fact, micro, small and medium-sized companies. It is necessary to valorise national production, fisheries, agriculture, industry, replacing imports by national production, increasing employment and income instead of increasing external dependence and indebtedness.

5.The question that arises is whether there is a will and availability for this more global and decisive response that cannot be postponed, regardless of this or that incidental measure. The PCP will not give up fighting for an answer to the country's problems, nor is it conditioned by threats of supposed political crises, which will only exist if the PS and the President of the Republic so wish. Not giving a decisive solution to the problems makes them worse for each and every one, promotes instability and discontent, opens the way for reactionary projects, jeopardises the future of Portugal.

More than stirring up political drama and animating scenarios of crisis, what is needed is to respond to the country's problems.

It is no use pointing out the “danger” of the right if, in decisive issues, the PS and the government maintain the criteria that shape the right-wing policy and refuse the necessary response to the problems that affect the workers and the people. The projects of the right are fought by standing up to their class interests, not allowing them to feed on the problems that grow due to the lack of solutions.

6. The Central Committee of the PCP considers that the commitments and signs necessary for a global response to the problems have not been assumed and that this State Budget does not correspond to the needs of the country.

Portugal does not need just any Budget, it needs an answer to the existing problems, which grow because they are not faced. There are conditions and means to answer them.

The country will only not have a State Budget if the PS does not want it. In this context, given the framework of commitments and signs shown, the PCP will vote against this State Budget.

The Central Committee reiterates that the PCP will continue, in all circumstances that arise, to fight every day for the defence and achievement of rights, to defend the alternative path that the country needs, corresponding to the commitment it assumed with the workers and the people.

7.The Central Committee of the PCP calls on the organisations and militants to ensure a bold and confident intervention in defence of the patriotic and left-wing policy, which stimulates the struggle of workers and populations in defence of their rights and interests, which spurs the convergence of democrats and patriots, which strengthens the Party, its capacity for achievement and its connection to the masses.

  • Assuntos e Sectores Sociais
  • Economia e Aparelho Produtivo
  • Saúde
  • Trabalhadores
  • Central