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Finanças workers receive maximum bonus for 'coercive collection' income

financasThe Minister of Finance, Mário Centeno, has awarded the maximum bonus possible to his tax office staff due to their achievement of high ‘coercive collection’ figures last year.

Centeno again is to transfer 5% of the money collected from debtors under the harsh ‘coercive collection’ system to a special Tax Stabilisation Fund which then pays out productivity bonuses to Finanças managers and staff.

Centeno noted "the high standard of professional competence" used by Finanças staff but again skips around the obvious problem of staff resorting to the coercive collection system too swiftly and ignoring sensible payment plans put forward by debtors - as these would not attract a staff bonus.
The "dedication and professionalism of staff and managers, who produced a good performance in 2016, will be rewarded this year with a bonus equivalent to 5% of the sum raised by these coercive collections," said the minister whose decision has become a habit and comes at a time when the Court of Auditors already has suggested several changes in the management of this fund and the logic of the bonus system.

The Tax Stabilization Fund has ended up becoming part of the tax office workers’ salary package as it ihas been awarded year after year since the mid-1990s, making this State-funded career particularly attractive.

Paulo Ralha, the president of the Union of Tax Workers, also has said that the system is unfair: not to taxpayers in trouble but to his workers as management gets a higher percentage of salary as a bonus than lower grade staff.

Management gets a premium equivalent to 42% of their monthly salary, lower management get 35% and the tax office workers receive a bonus of 32% of monthly salary.

According to a study by the Court of Auditors released in April this year, this bonus fund is not being closely monitored in accounting terms and is not being used for the purposes for which it was created. The fund was supposed to function as a productivity bonu but it has become "stable and repetitive in nature" as the fund carries a significant surplus.

The fact remains that this bonus scheme encourages Tax Office staff to use the coercive collection system all too readily.


+1 #1 Peter Booker 2017-05-16 21:24
As with all such bonuses, they eventually come to be regarded as part of the basic pay package. And then they cannot be withdrawn.