This was one of the central points of the speech made by António Costa at the PS political rally in Leiria, in a long speech in which he sought to highlight the consequences of the war between Ukraine and Russia, especially in the field of energy, and in which he also left several criticisms of the scope of the proposals presented by the PSD.

"Right now, the great adversary that we have, the great difficulty that all families and all companies face, is called inflation. Inflation is now no longer just a footnote in any speech, it is the central problem," declared the socialist leader and Prime Minister.

António Costa went on to say that in the last 20 years, inflation had always been below two percent and in the last five years the average was 0.8 percent.

"We are well aware of what the picture of difficulty is. We have already had a pandemic [from covid-19], which we did not have 100 years ago and now we have inflation which we did not have 30 years ago. We have managed to beat the pandemic. And we will also combat inflation, as long as we have good sense, responsibility and nerves of steel," argued the socialist leader.

António Costa argued that, to end inflation, "there is no vaccine", "but there are small measures that, in small doses, can go towards easing the pain".

"With the set of measures the Government has taken to control fuel prices, between the suspension of carbon tax and the suspension of the return of the additional VAT revenue, with the reduction of the ISP (Tax on Petroleum Products), the truth is very simple: in a 50-litre tank of diesel you pay 14 euros less and in a 50-litre tank of petrol you pay 16 euros less than if there weren't these measures," he pointed out.

According to the PM, since the beginning of the wave of price increases, before the most recent package that amounts to 2.4 billion euros, the Government had already mobilised 1.682 billion euros to mitigate the rise in fuel prices.

The opposition, according to the PM, more specifically the PSD, proposed measures "in two rounds, the first round being 1 billion euros in support and the second round 1.5 billion euros in support".

"The opposition has presented a set of proposals with less value than the Government to support companies and families. And it is not only smaller in quantity, it is also aimed at less people. In the case of the PSD, they wanted to support people with incomes of up to 1,100 euros, while our proposals cover a large part of the middle class up to 2,700 euros per month", he said.

Additionally, according to the leader of the executive, the PSD proposal for income support is a food voucher, which families can only have for the purchase of food.

"It is the old mistrust that the right has over people and families, judging that they will misspend the money they receive from the State," he commented.

In his response to inflation, António Costa also sought to highlight the component of debt reduction, saying that Portugal is the third country in the European Union with the greatest decrease after the covid-19 pandemic, which represents "a sign of confidence" in the future of the Portuguese economy.

"We can say that we are going to give this support without jeopardising any of the budgetary objectives we had set ourselves. We won't have to freeze salaries, cut pensions, in education or in the National Health Service. We are going to apply this package of 2,400 million euros, while still meeting the target for the deficit," he added.