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PSD Olhão voted against budget due to “lack of strategic vision for the development of the municipality”

The Olhão PSD (Social Democratic Party) voted against the Municipal Budget for 2022, as it believes that the Executive led by António Miguel Pina has relegated fundamental and priority areas for the development of the municipality to second place.

Despite having been approved by the PS majority, both at the meeting of the Council on 15 December and at the Municipal Assembly on 21 December, the councillors and municipal deputies elected by the PSD voted against the Budget and Major Planning Options for 2022, justifying this position with the following explanation of vote:

“The PSD Councillors believe that the Big Options for the 2022 Plan and the budgets under analysis are extremely important documents insofar as they should drive and generate the economic, social and cultural development of the Municipality, as well as respond to the most pressing needs and expectations of the people of Olhão.
Although the PSD, in the last mandates, has mostly followed the proposals of the City Hall, without reproaching the options of the Executive in what concerns social policies to support the most needy, in education, culture, sports, investments, infrastructures and structuring equipment, it is evident the considerable delay in the degree of execution in terms not only of time but also in financial terms of investments in communication routes, municipal equipment and infrastructure (sports, environment, sanitation, green spaces, housing, education and many others) that should have long since been considered a priority, in a clear lack of strategic vision for the sustainable development of the Municipality of Olhão. Translated with (free version)
Considering that the Socialist Executive has recently rejected the proposals of the PSD (Social Democratic Party) to lower taxes, namely the reduction of personal income tax and of municipal property tax, which, in addition to relieving the aforementioned tax burden on residents in the municipality, would also encourage those who already live here to stay, as well as attract new residents and new investment to Olhão (according to data from the 2021 Census, the population in Olhão is falling). Translated with (free version)
Considering that the COVID-19 Pandemic has aggravated the fragilities of companies based in the municipality that generate wealth and many jobs, it is essential to support the local economy, in order to minimise the social and financial impact of the health crisis, especially at the level of small businesses. In defence of the sustainability of Olhão’s business fabric, measures to support companies should be clearly and unequivocally included in this budget proposal, given that the economy cannot stop.

Taking into account the announced Intervention Plans in the wastewater and rainwater systems, it would be expected that in this area, which is so deficient and affects the quality of water on our waterfront and all the marine biodiversity therein, and which should be a priority project for the town, the budget under analysis would provide AmbiOlhão with the financial capacity and means necessary to ensure the success of the projects in the medium term. Translated with (free version) However, we observe, once again, the persistence of low investment in the issue of environmental preservation, which once again confirms the disregard of this Municipality in relation to the Ria Formosa and the hundreds of Olhão families who derive much of their essential subsistence income from it.

Given that, in the planned decentralization of competencies to the Municipality, the Municipality assumed charges without being aware of the financial package that the State intends to allocate to each of the competencies, when it would be expected that the acceptance of competencies by the municipality would translate into a strategic impact on the Municipality’s GOP, particularly in the most sensitive areas, such as Health and Education, this is not the case. Thus, there is neither a strategic approach to the challenges of decentralisation nor adequate capacity building to cope with the responsibilities taken on.
Thus, it is our understanding that those previsional accounting documents reflect the lack of strategic vision of action of the Town Council, without investment lines directed towards the promotion of economic and social development and simultaneously, not betting on the improvement of quality in the provision of services, which could give more welfare and quality of life to our fellow citizens.

For the assumptions summarised above, the councillors elected by the PSD in Olhão Town Council vote against the Major Planning Options and the CMO Budget for the year 2022, as they are aware that this budget and these GOP are not suited to the needs and demands of Olhão, nor to the ambition of development and quality of life of its residents, nor even point to a path to follow in the short and medium term future, making no use of the enormous human, cultural, scientific, geographical, historical and heritage capital of the municipality.”