- Created on Friday, 12 October 2012 20:33
Closing the toilets in restaurants and cafes is an innovative form of protest, one that the sector's association members will discuss next week.
"The situation is desperate. All forms of struggle are to be discussed. We could close for a day, close the bathrooms... whatever is decided will be done," said the Secretary General of Portugal’s Association of Hotels, Restaurants (AHRESP), José Manuel Esteves
On Thursday the draft state budget for next year went through with no changes to the VAT rate for the sector, currently at 23%, which threatens the survival of thousands of businesses, according AHRESP.
The meeting of the national council of the association will take place next week so members can discuss the forms of protest to be taken due to the failure of the government to reduce VAT for the sector next year.
"In November members paid their third quarter VAT, but small firms will not pay because they have no money, and then Finance Minister, Vítor Gaspar, will realise that this is a massacre.”
The AHRESP says that to pay VAT in the second quarter this year, the restaurant sector had to borrow money to do so, but now there are no more assets to pledge, "now we will see the non-payment of tax to the state cause the bankruptcy of many businesses and the unemployment of workers, "said the Secretary-General.
Members are preparing to fill the galleries of the Assembly when the petition on VAT, organised by the association, is discussed, as it must be.
"Let's all wear black because it's our funeral," said Esteves, adding that members of AHRESP have reached "the limit of patience and endurance, economic and social."
"We have very serious cases, we have desperate members. Starting now, we no longer accept that this government is blind and mute. Let the government take responsibility for this bad budget," he concluded.