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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Government 'considering extending VAT voucher scheme to media' - union




Lisbon, Oct.26,2020 (Lusa) - Portugal's government is looking at the possibility of extending a new scheme under which the value-added tax (VAT) that consumers spend in the hotels and culture sectors to the media, the president of the Journalists' Union (SJ), Sofia Branco, has told Lusa.
Branco said after a meeting with the secretary of state for cinema, audiovisual and media, Nuno Artur Silva, that the SJ had requested the meeting - which took place on Friday - because "it was very concerned, apprehensive and even shocked by the lack of support measures for the sector in the State Budget for 2021."
She recalled that the union had already made a similar proposal in December last year, with "tax benefits for those who subscribe to publications", for example, or with a special offer for university students.
"We were disappointed to see the measure in [the 2012 budget] but not applied to the [media] sector," she told Lusa. "We have been told that they will study the possibility of it being applied to paper or digital subscriptions" - that is via a VAT refund, a measure that is expected to be inserted into the document in the committee stage following its first reading in parliament this week.
Branco also said that the meeting also covered the possible use of European Union funds in the sector, "namely in digital" operations, as well as the national plan for media literacy, with the secretary of state providing information on a planned "national campaign to promote journalism against misinformation". He also said that the bill was constrained by the pandemic situation, , according to Branco, who said that, in the view of the union, it was "clearly insufficient".
She stressed "the increase in precarious conditions in the public sector, both at [television and radio broadcaster] RTP and at Lusa," denouncing what she said was an increased prevalence of casual employment at both companies.
The secretary of state had, she reported, acknowledged the "constraints" at the two companies, especially in terms of hiring, but stressed that a public sector programme known as PREVAP, aimed at taking casual workers onto permanent staff, had already closed.
Branco said that the union would "request hearings with all parliamentary groups, in particular on the lack of measures in the state budget for 202021" for the media and its exclusion from the VAT voucher scheme.

ALYN/ARO // ARO.
Lusa


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2020-10-27 09:16:00







 

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