The Bloco de Esquerda (BE) defended this Saturday that the State should participate in a program to save the restaurant sector by proposing that restaurants can make emergency meals for those most affected by the covid-19 pandemic.
At a press conference aimed at presenting “nine emergency measures” aimed at “protecting those in need”, BE coordinator Catarina Martins recalled that this proposal has already been tested with good results in Lisbon and that it should therefore be extended to the whole country.
In this sense, the blockade leader also defended that school canteens must be able to reinforce meals so that “no child gets hungry” and proposed that they, like restaurants, serve as “Take-away” for the most disadvantaged or the most disadvantaged by the pandemic crisis.
“It is known that the pandemic will not end for next month and these are measures that the Government can implement now, in view of the 7,000 million euros that it did not implement,” he said.
Catarina Martins stressed, on the other hand, that the remaining seven measures may be deepened next Thursday in parliament, a body that should not only serve to approve decrees and states of emergency.
“Portugal is the third country in the Eurozone that less spent in fighting the pandemic”, Recalled the BE coordinator, recalling that the health crisis has long reached a level of economic and social disaster, with more than 200 thousand redundancies, which affect more the professions with lower salaries and also the younger ones.
In terms of income, he recalled, wages in Portugal fell by an average of 13%, “Almost double those of the European Union (EU)” (7%), in which women are the most affected, with a decrease of 16%.
In this sense, BE argues that the wages of those who stay at home to take care of minor children must be paid 100%, putting an end to the drop of one third of the monthly income currently in force.
Blockers also argue that, in the case of parents, whether couples or single parents, the state must provide support by assigning a paid license, just as, he recalled, he already defended the Ombudsman, Maria Lúcia Amaral.
Informal caregivers should also pay greater attention, Catarina Martins defended, arguing that anyone who takes care of dependents, especially now that most day centers have been closed, should benefit from urgent extraordinary support.
Those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic they must also be supported, with the deadlines to be extended until the end of the current year, removing bureaucracies – “benefits must be extended throughout the pandemic” -, also involving the long-term unemployed – “cannot remain six more months without receiving ”.
“The guarantee period must be halved to access unemployment benefit (six months) and social unemployment benefit (three months)”, proposes BE.
Another measure defended by the blockers has to do with whom, unemployed or with much lower incomes than he received before the pandemic, returned home from parents.
“The Government has decreed extraordinary support for workers’ income and that is a good thing, but it excludes thousands of people due to the way in which the household is accounted for. [familiar]”, Explained Catarina Martins, asking for an“ immediate correction ”.
Regarding income for green receipts and partner-managers, “without exclusions”, Bloco de Esquerda argues that extraordinary support should have the year 2019 as a reference and not 2020.
Finally, and in relation to health professionals, BE advocates that they be extended “to all” those who, directly or indirectly, are linked to the health sector.
“The Government proposed and approved the increase in overtime and the possibility of a increase in working hours and wages, but the decree excludes several professionals, such as operational assistants, diagnostic and therapeutic technicians and superior health technicians ”, concluded Catarina Martins.