‘More Housing’ bill bulldozed through parliament
The Portuguese government forced through its unpopular and controversial More Housing package in the parliament on Friday using its socialist party majority.
It means that despite his grave misgivings that the policy will even work, Portugal’s president, Marcel Rebelo de Sousa will have to rubber stamp the law.
All opposition parties, except PAN (People, Nature and Animals) which abstained, voted against. After the president vetoed the proposed bill in August, after months of upsetting nearly every association affected, opposition parties from the left to the right accused the António Costa government of “stubbornness, intransigence” and a “lack of discussion” to resolve Portugal’s housing problems and agreed that the package does nothing to solve crucial issues with measures on local accommodation or coercive rental the most criticised.
The gripe was over a package of measures aimed at mitigating the worst effects of the housing crisis with a number of policies worth an estimated €900 million (excluding the costs of building, purchasing, or rents that would be paid for by the State), financed from the State Budget 2023.
The bill had undergone slight alterations from the initial proposed bill presented on February 16, specifically regarding the coercive rental of empty houses, one of the more controversial measures, as well as definitively ending the Golden Visas whose regime ended for new applications for visas under the investments in residential property option
Among the measures foreseen is the application of an extraordinary contribution or surcharge tax on Local Accommodation of 15% non deductible against IRC income tax.
The new rules also dictated that the licences would be reappraised in 2030 and then renewed for five years.