The Government postponed the implementation of the IVAucher program, foreseen in the State Budget for 2021. After weeks of silence, or saying only that “technical meetings” were taking place with the entity responsible for placing the program on the ground, the Secretary of State for Tax Affairs admits that promoting consumption in catering, accommodation and culture is not just yet.
“IVAucher will start when we have the right conditions so that in the sectors of culture, accommodation and catering, it is possible to safely stimulate demand,” replied António Mendonça Mendes in an interview with the newspaper Eco, published this Thursday , April 8.
IVAucher was created in the State Budget for 2021 as a program to promote consumption: the Portuguese could, with it, spend VAT on previous consumption in these sectors in areas such as catering, accommodation and culture. The idea would be that this VAT expense would be made regardless of the card and means used to make the payment, regardless of the merchant concerned, and regardless of the terminal that it uses.
Last month, with the country getting ready to start the gradual exit from the confinement decreed by the Government as a measure to limit the contagion of the covid-19 – albeit with limits -, the Ministry of Finance was silent about the issue . On March 18, Expresso wrote that the program that would allow its operation was not even awarded yet – the contest ended with a single entity, the payment company Pagaqui, but nothing was yet to be formally prepared.
One day after the news was published, the Ministry of Finance chose to speak to Lusa, saying that “technical meetings were taking place between the Ministry of Finance’s services and the entity that will process the payment co-payment service, in order to ensure the implementation of the ‘IVAucher’ Program ”. He did not indicate the company, although it is known that only Pagaqui took part in the contest.
“It does not make sense to be stimulating demand higher than what is normal demand. We have to go on assessing the right conditions to implement a stimulus program like this. It will certainly be implemented, but at a more appropriate time ”, he declared to Eco, adding that“ it is necessary to wait for the opportune moment ”, but without indicating a horizon.
This is yet another delay in the program whose tender of 5.6 million euros has already been controversial. The operators accused the imposed conditions of being a fact tailored to SIBS, the owner of Multibanco, which later ended up not even competing. In between, the Competition Authority has issued the Government twice with warnings about the model designed.