According to the institute’s preliminary data, the tax burden, which includes revenue from taxes and effective contributions, rose from 34.4 percent to 35.4 percent in 2018, the highest percentage since the beginning of the figures made available by the institute.

The total revenue from taxes and social contributions amounted to €71.357 billion last year, compared to €67.027 billion in the previous year.

The concept of tax burden is defined by taxes and effective social contributions (excluding imputed contributions) charged by national public administrations and EU institutions.

Considering only the total of tax revenues (tax on income, production and import and capital) the total amount collected reached €52.221 billion, more than the €49.077 billion collected in 2017.

The total amount of tax revenues is equally the highest ever recorded.

Portugal’s minister of finance and Eurogroup head Mário Centeno said on Tuesday the country will maintain its deficit forecast for this year at 0.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product despite the deficit in 2018 having been below the government’s expectation.
Centeno said at a press conference that he saw “no reason” to change the forecast at this moment.

He said the results reached showed that Portugal had gained credibility and had shown Europe “there was an alternative (to austerity measures).”

According to the National Statistics Institute, the budget deficit in 2018 was 0.5 percent of GDP, below the 0.6 percent forecast by the government, following a deficit of 3 percent in 2017.

Portugal signed a €78 billion bailout in 2011 when it was on the verge of bankruptcy and the right-wing coalition in power at the time was forced to agree to harsh austerity measures including tax hikes and spending cuts.

The Socialist government, which is backed by the Left Bloc and Communist party in parliament, has reversed some of these measures.