LISBON, Sept 6 — Portugal yesterday unveiled a €2.4-billion (RM10.7 billion) package to help households cope with soaring prices, including an energy tax cut.
The government said it would offer a one-off payment worth €125 (RM558.34), plus €50 per child, to each person earning up to €2,700 gross per month.
Pensioners will receive additional money worth half their monthly pension as a one-time payment.
The money is in addition to a €1.6-billion package announced this year.
“It has been 30 years since we have been confronted by such a sudden rise in the cost of living,” Prime Minister Antonia Costa told a press conference, as he called for “caution against feeding an inflationary spiral”.
The government, which has an absolute majority in parliament, will ask lawmakers to vote for a reduction in VAT on electricity, from 13 to six per cent, and will extend a fuel tax reduction until the end of the year.
Costa also announced a cap on rent increases next year to two per cent and a freeze on public transport fares.
Consumer prices rose to nine per cent in August on an annual basis, according to a provisional estimate by the official statistics body.
The government will announce a separate package for businesses.
Households and businesses across Europe are feeling the pain from sky-high energy prices as the continent moves away from Russian supplies in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. — AFP