Portugal’s 2015 budget approved in parliament

Portugal’s proposed national budget for 2015 was approved in parliament by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s centre-right Social Democrats (PSD) and CDS, its junior partner in the governing coalition.

The main opposition Socialists and the Communist Party, the Green Party and Left Block Party all voted against the bill on Tuesday. Four members of the governing coalition also voted against the bill, with one abstention on the coalition side.

The debt-laden country’s 2015 budget is based on expectation of 1.5 percent economic growth next year; a decrease of the unemployment rate to 13.4 percent and public debt falling from 127.2 percent to 123.7 percent.

The centre right government coalition recently revealed that the country will stick to its austerity plan next year and will raise its deficit target to 2.7 percent.

In 2015, corporate tax will be cut from 23 percent to 21 percent. But tax on tobacco and alcohol will rise and income tax will only be cut if the government manages to raise money by clamping down on tax evasion.