Gas support for 300 companies
The Portuguese government has announced a measure to support companies that are faced with spiralling gas bills.
The package will involve around 250-300 companies which are heavily gas reliant. The measure was announced by the Secretary of State for the Economy, João Neves in an interview with the business daily Negócios.
One of the strands of the package, amounting to €5 million, has been earmarked for around 10 companies which are important for the Portuguese economy.
The Government has also provided a €100 million training package for industry alone, once again aimed at large companies that are vital for the Portuguese economies.
The money for large and medium size companies, which will be used for training courses defined by the companies themselves, has been provided from European Union funds.
The funding has also been provided to alleviate company overhead costs for industrial companies.
“We are going through a situation that is very different from the pandemic in which we suffered an abrupt fall in production because of collapse in demand.
“Then, we had a generalised company shutdown and the solution was to maintain companies and jobs — the simplified lay-off”, he said.
The difference today is that “companies are enjoying high levels of demand, but are having logistical management and production costs difficulties” which is why the response (this time) has been centred around training to fill off-peak hours.
“Many companies are making adjustments to their production planning. This means that there are periods of downtime from the point of view of human resources management that should be taken advantage of for training sessions.
“This training acts as a kind of overheads savings for companies. It may be that they have to do overtime during other periods, which adds to costs.”
Portuguese business associations have been less than cock-a-hoop about the government’s aid measures.
The President of the Portuguese Enterprise Confederation, António Saraiva had said last week that although the measures “go in the right direction”, they are “unfortunately inadequate and fall short of what is required”.