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Carlos Moedas - Ask the mayor

Ask the mayor Carlos Moedas

Carlos Moedas answers questions from Time Out readers about some of the most pressing issues in the city: income, housing, noise reduction, and better public bikes.

Escrito por
Editores da Time Out Lisboa

When will taxes decrease and wages increase for those living in Lisbon?

The current city council executive has outlined a tax reduction policy that will increasingly benefit those who live or come to live in Lisbon. An example of this is the progressive reduction of the IRS withholding rate, which will allow a return to citizens of around 100 million euros by 2025.

In 2023, we also want to move forward with an exemption from IMT (Portugal’s Property Transfer Tax) for young people, up to 35 years old, who buy their own permanent home up to 250 thousand euros. This will help provide young people and families with a support, often decisive, to accomplish their dream of owning their own home. 

Will you implement new affordable rental policies for 2023?

We will be launching, still in 2022, an Accessible Income Program (PRA) contest, and a new edition of the lease aid (SMAA). For 2023, there are new PRA contests planned to launch, in which we will propose specific requirements so that we can reach more people, and we hope to renew further editions of the SMAA.

We are making every effort to increase the housing supply in the city through faster licensing. Looking at a segment with a great need for supply like that of student housing, there are a total of 6,439 beds under construction in student residencies or in the licensing phase in the Urban Planning services of the Lisbon City Council. This total includes public and private initiative projects.

When will Lisbon’s City Council adopt more effective measures to minimise gentrification?

Lisbon is increasingly becoming a cosmopolitan city, attracting many tourists and younger generations. This creates added challenges for us, as it is important to respond to the interests of tourists, but also those of residents. For this reason, city council has already managed to fulfil some of the commitments taken on by this new executive that go towards mitigating and fighting gentrification. In the course of a year, the municipality has taken measures, in different areas, that meet this purpose: implementing free public transport for younger and older people, health plan for those over 65 years of age, increased IRS return, and reinforcing applications for affordable rental programs and aids to support renting. 

The Lisbon City Council understands that a strong local social state is able to provide answers more targeted to the interests of those living in the city. Alongside these measures, it has been undertaking very concrete actions to fight climate change, such as investing in smooth and shared mobility, in the Carris electric fleet, in the making of a drainage plan, in order to turn Lisbon into a more sustainable city for those living here. The recently approved municipal anti-inflation plan follows along these lines of protecting the most sensitive and vulnerable groups, reinforcing support for families and companies in Lisbon.  

Lisbon should have 24-hour cleaning. What are you doing to make the city more hygienic?

We have achieved this in recent months, in operational terms and after the significant reinforcement of human resources (nearly 200 new employees were hired) and the review and extension of the payment of health benefits, thus creating better conditions for workers as well as increasing municipal services’s ability to ensure the collection of waste according to the defined schedule.

As it’s well known, Urban Cleaning is also dependent on parish councils, which are responsible for washing and sweeping sidewalks and streets, emptying wastepaper bins and cleaning around ecopoints. That is why Lisbon's City Council’s cooperation with them is essential and, in order to create conditions for this collaboration, we have supported and financed the city’s parish councils with around 18 million euros since we took office.

However, it is also important to mention that this challenge involves everyone and requires strong commitment and active collaboration to achieve the cleaner city we all wish for. 

Does the Council have a plan to control noise, cleanliness and insecurity in Cais do Sodré?

Lisbon City Council has been developing, since the beginning of our term of office and within our legal scope, an integrated and cross-sectional strategy to a safer Lisbon. In terms of public safety, responsibility lies with PSP (Public Security Police) and, in this sense, we have noted this need in the Intermunicipal Security Council that brings together various authorities and which we have reactivated. Alongside this, city council will also move forward next year with implementing video protection in this city area, as we believe it to be a fundamental and complementary means of reinforcing security in this location. Surveillance actions in this area of the city were considerably increased. We’ve also created the “Noise Line”, which is a telephone line dedicated to supporting residents' complaints on this topic.

How long will it take to solve the issues with GIRA?

EMEL (Lisbon’s Municipal Mobility and Parking Company) has been hiring maintenance and field technicians, which have translated into visible improvements in the service level of the GIRA Shared Bicycle Network. In addition to this, in 2023 EMEL will add new bikes to the current network, for which we can expect a gradual improvement in the level of service throughout the year. By the end of this mandate, we intend to double the number of both bicycles and stations.

What are the plans for a bike path in Campolide?

The expansion and development of the cycling network in Lisbon is a clear priority for this municipality leadership. The Campolide parish already has some cycle paths built, but there is still a lack of important cycling routes that are in the works, such as the connection between Bairro Azul and Sete Rios, through Rua Ramalho Ortigão, Avenida José Malhoa and Rua de Campolide, and the connection from Bairro Azul to Nova University, through Rua da Mesquita. 

What are the plans for the area that would become the popular fair, in Carnide?

Lisbon’s City Council intends to reinforce its green structure through consolidating and expanding its Green Corridors Network, integrated in the city's Green Structure, and the city’s Urban Parks, which includes the Carnide Green Park, which will have leisure, culture and sport facilities, by setting a program to use existing infrastructures.

This interview was published on Lisbon by Time Out newspaper, December 2022 edition.

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