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AD makes its economic electoral pitch

The center-right AD promised to boost the economy, increase the wages civil servants and cut taxes. But it hasn't revealed how it plans to pay for this.

This week, the two main leaders of the Democratic Alliance (Aliança Democrática or AD), Luís Montenegro and Nuno Melo brought together 17 economists and presented their economic pledges.

Among the guests were members of previous PSD governments such as four former Finance Ministers Jorge Braga de Macedo, Manuela Ferreira Leite, Maria Luís Albuquerque and Miguel Cadilhe.

"Portugal doesn't have to be the impoverished country that the PS has lived in over the last few years and is delivering at the end of this legislature," said Luís Montenegro, PSD leader, as he left the meeting .

"The Socialist Party (PS) has left us a country with maximum taxes and minimum services," he said, pledging to reduce personal income tax (IRS) for workers, the middle class and young people.

To stimulate economic investment, the AD has promised to reduce corporate income (IRC) tax by 2% a year. In other words, to end the legislature with a 15% IRC.

"We're not going to play bidding auctions to see who can get the most. We have a plausible strategy. We're going to present the impact of all our measures. All these quantified measures are backed up by the macroeconomic scenario we have ahead of us," the Social Democrat guaranteed.

Asked how he will intends to finance these measures, the PSD president said it will all be part of the macroeconomic framework that the coalition will present "in the next few days".

However, he did leave one guarantee. He said that his future government "won't cut anything". Instead, it will "manage better" without ever jeopardising the balance of public accounts.

Luís Montenegro also defended the participation of the private and social sectors to guarantee the quality of public services, particularly health. "And this is a big divide between the PS and AD. The PS project aims to give the state full responsibility for public service provision."

The leader of the PSD and also of the Democratic Alliance also pointed the finger at the socialist legacy in the field of education, recovering the promise to recognise the teachers' service time that had been frozen.

In the case of access to housing, Montenegro promised to reverse the restrictive rules imposed by the government.

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