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Since the resumption of economic growth in early 2013, Portugal has experienced a strong improvement in both employment and unemployment rates – greater than what one would have expected given the pace of the recovery in GDP. Despite the progress made, many challenges remain.
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This note presents selected findings based on the set of well-being indicators published in How's Life? 2016.
Despite the difficult economic climate, Portugal has continued to develop and reform its energy policies since the previous International Energy Agency (IEA) in-depth review in 2009. These changes have resulted in greater economic activity in the energy sector, increased renewable energy deployment, further market liberalisation and greater emphasis on energy efficiency in policy making.
A new strategy emphasising renewable energy and energy efficiency has focused efforts on meeting national and European energy policy objectives, as Portugal seeks also to lower investment costs and greater national competitiveness. The new strategy includes proposals to reinforce interconnections with transnational European electricity and natural gas networks, and measures to promote economic and environmental sustainability. The strategy should accommodate regular independent reviews and monitoring tools to examine implementation of energy policy to ensure that it remains relevant and cost-effective.
Following the economic crisis, Portugal was left with a substantial tariff deficit as retail electricity tariffs were set below costs, including subsidies to renewables. Portugal’s plan to address the tariff deficit was the outcome of a negotiation process with industry stakeholders. Eliminating the tariff debt by 2020 is a significant challenge. The government must ensure swift implementation of all reform proposals and continue its efforts to identify further potential cost-saving measures in the energy sector.
This review analyses the energy policy challenges facing Portugal and provides recommendations for further policy improvements. It is intended to help guide the country towards a more secure and sustainable energy future.
The tax burden on labour income is expressed by the tax wedge, which is a measure of the net tax burden on labour income borne by the employee and the employer.
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Portugal is ranked 11th among the 34 OECD member countries in decreasing order with a tax wedge for an average single worker at 42.1% in 2015, compared with the OECD average of 35.9%. The country occupied the 12th position in 2014.
The 2015 edition of National Accounts of OECD Countries, General Government Accounts is an annual publication, dedicated to government finance which is based on the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA 2008) for all countries except Chile, Japan, Korea and Turkey (SNA 1993). It includes tables showing government aggregates and balances for the production, income and financial accounts as well as detailed tax and social contribution receipts and a breakdown of expenditure of general government by function, according to the harmonised international classification, COFOG. These detailed accounts are available for the general government sector. Data also cover the following sub-sectors, according to availability: central government, state government, local government and social security funds.
The data in this publication are also available on line via www.oecd-ilibrary.org under the title OECD National Accounts Statistics, General Government Accounts (http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/na-gga-data-en and http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/na-gga08-data-en).
The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts periodic reviews of the individual development co-operation efforts of DAC members. The policies and programmes of each member are critically examined approximately once every five years. DAC peer reviews assess the performance of a given member, not just that of its development co-operation agency, and examine both policy and implementation. They take an integrated, system-wide perspective on the development co-operation and humanitarian assistance activities of the member under review.
Portugal has endeavoured to maintain its foreign aid programme since the economic crisis, but its aid budget has been hit hard and a plan is needed to avoid a further decline and get back on a path towards internationally agreed targets.
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The tax burden in Portugal declined by 0.1 percentage points from 34.5% to 34.4% in 2014. The corresponding figures for the OECD average were an increase of 0.2 percentage points from 34.2% to 34.4%.
The 2015 edition introduces more detailed analysis of participation in early childhood and tertiary levels of education. The report also examines first generation tertiary-educated adults’ educational and social mobility, labour market outcomes for recent graduates, and participation in employer-sponsored formal and/or non-formal education.