In an interview with the newspaper i, economics professor and PUBLIC columnist Susana Peralta defended: “There was a significant part of the people in Portugal who did not lose their income, the entire telework bourgeoisie, all the people in the service sector, who by the way are the best paid People that include me. This crisis saved many people who work in this sector and who are best educated. An extraordinary tax could well have been imposed on these people to share the cost of this crisis. “
The phrase “teleworking bourgeoisie” featured on the front page of the newspaper caused discomfort, not least because there aren’t many who feel particularly “bourgeois” with the accumulation of days of imprisonment. Nor will “bourgeois” be those who work from home with a minimum wage or a green receipt. It could even be argued, as Susana Peralta does, that the phrase suggests that the extraordinary tax should be levied on capital income rather than on earned income.
But the “bourgeoisie” must not deviate from the discussion, which interests us, that there are sectors of society that have not suffered a decline in income in their activity because they could continue to work while others were easy to stop for the good of all, seeing their wages cut, went into unemployment, and many others were able to join them. In a society that is not ashamed of looking in the mirror, only those who have been sacrificed deserve the support of those who have suffered the least.
In a country where the executive of Passos Coelho has made extraordinary contributions to overcoming the last serious crisis, the possibility of creating an extraordinary tax, also defended by names like Luís Aguiar-Conraria or Poiares Maduro, should be less strange more discussion. Because this is still broadly the same country of this crisis, with scarce resources and the need to control its deficit – albeit much less at this point.
To help the many in need, the money has to come from somewhere, and relying only on the European “bazooka” or the “vitamin” is a solution, but it can be sacrificed for those who are most sacrificed from the pandemic which inevitably includes being late among the most fragile sectors of society. At the very least, this debate would serve to keep an eye on the priorities in the distribution of European funds and to force the government and the President of the Republic to deal urgently with the growing economic crisis if we concentrate on solving the others.