António Costa has announced the payment of an extraordinary benefit of €240 to one million families who receive minimum benefits or who benefit from the social energy tariff.

The measure, which will be approved by the Council of Ministers on Thursday, was announced during an interview with the magazine Visão.

"Inflation is very uneven in its effects", argued the leader of the executive, noting that "prices have risen for everyone", but not everyone has "the same capacity to accommodate the rise in prices".

According to the Prime Minister, this support begins to be paid on December 23, until the end of the year.

This new extraordinary support will be given to citizens covered by the special electricity tariff or by minimum benefits, with minimum social benefits being considered the solidarity supplement for the elderly, the social insertion income, the social disability pension of the special disability protection regime, the supplement to the social allowance for inclusion, the social old-age pension, and the social unemployment subsidy.

Help for middle classes

Speaking to journalists in parliament, André Ventura said that "all the support that comes from the Government to families at this time is positive support", but criticised the criteria defined for distribution.

“So far we know that these 240 euros will be allocated to those who have minimum benefits or benefit from the social electricity tariff", he considered.

André Ventura appealed to the Government to "include the middle class in this support", proposing that families that had "an increase above 30% in the mortgage payment and the effort rate exceeds 40% compared to the household income" be covered.

The president of Chega proposes that the “number of members of the household and the difficulty in sustaining them in the face of school, family and hospital expenses, or the rate of effort of families to pay essential expenses” be also taken into account.

Ventura criticised that, with the defined criteria, the executive "will allow the same ones to continue to receive support from the Government and that others who effectively also need it will not receive it".

The leader of Chega also indicated that the party will ask that the matter be discussed in parliament "to show that the middle class has to be within these supports", maintaining that "it cannot be outside, namely when so much of the middle class, given the increase in the mortgage payment, at the moment it is practically in the same situation as many who receive this minimum payment".

And he pointed out that this portion of the population, "with interest and inflation, is increasingly impoverished".

Asked how many people could be covered with this extension, André Ventura was unable to specify.