Costa e Silva sacks secretary of state for tourism
Portugal’s Minster for the Economy has sacked Rita Marques, the Secretary of State for Tourism.
Rita Marques has been dismissed over support she showed on social networks to statements made by for former Minister for the Economy Siza Vieira which flied in the face of fiscal policies pursued by the current Minister for the Economy, António Costa e Silva.
António Costa e Silva also sacked the Secretary of the State for the Economy, João Neves according to the newspaper Jornal de Negócios.
The moves are said to be the beginning of a government mini-reshuffle and have to do with “differences of opinion” on the IRC.
They follow the approval of the State Budget for 2023 last week which was pushed trough parliament by the ruling PS party majority, despite being voted down by opposition parties.
The reshuffle will also bring in an additional Secretary of State for Finances after a division of functions which are performed by the current Secretary of State for Finances, João Nuno Mendes.
The idea is to return to the model that had existed previously in which Finances and Treasury would have had a secretary each of for Finances and Treasury.
João Nuno Mendes will remain on as Secretary of State of Finances.
The formal announcement of the dismissal of Rita Marques from the portfolio of Secretary of State for Tourism will be made after her arrival from Riad where she is attending the 22nd WTTC Global Summit.
The decision that led to the dismissal of the two secretaries of State for the Economy have to do with differences with the minister on tax policy that the government is pursuing regarding companies.
In a debate that dominated the weeks leading up to the presentation of the State Budget 2023, Costa e Silva argued in September that given the current crisis “it would be extremely beneficial to apply an across-the-board reduction in corporation tax (IRC) to which João Neves said that: “reducing IRC to solve a short-term problem was a mistake”.
Since returning to power eight months ago on the March 30, the government has lost eight ministers/secretary of states.