8 Sep 2012

Portugal to adopt austerity measures

7:20 pm on 8 September 2012

The Prime Minister of Portugal Pedro Passos Coelho has announced new austerity measures for next year to try to cut the country's debt.

Portugal recently received a bailout worth $123 billion.

The BBC is reporting that next year employees will pay 7% more of their salary to the state as their social security contribution rises to 18%.

The change is largely to offset revenue losses after the Constitutional Court ruled against deep cuts in public sector workers' traditional holiday and Christmas bonuses.

But the prime minister said it would also enable the Government to reduce employers' social security rates with the aim of lowering record unemployment.

Analysts say critics of the Government are likely to see the changes as effectively a massive tax hike for workers.