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Posted by portugalpress on October 08, 2018

In a statement released on Friday, PAN - the battling Peoples Animals Nature party possessing just one MP - announced that the government has “guaranteed” that a proposal to drop the bullfighting industry’s IVA exemption will be included in the 2019 State Budget.

Somewhere along the line, the news morphed into the headline translated above: ‘PAN persuades Costa to drop the sector’s IVA exemption’.

But the industry came out with all guns blasting.

“This is not true”, it said on Saturday, nor could it be true “because the Budget has to be voted on in parliament”.

The best case scenario is that there will be a proposal in this regard… which, in the end, is just what PAN’s MP André Silva started out saying.

It’s more a case of him having got carried away as he got into his stride:

“This exemption will cease to exist”, he told reporters, explaining that bullfighting would either incur the intermediate IVA classification of 13%, or the full tax of 23%.

“This victory is a question of tributary justice and moralisation”, Silva concluded. If people have to pay IVA “to get a lawyer or buy food”, it would be “unjust that an activity based on the mistreatment of animals” continued to be exempt.

PAN has recently failed in its attempts to outlaw bullfighting altogether - and last week MPs threw out a proposal to see horses classified as pets.

The legal changes the party has spearheaded with regard to the running of municipal kennels threatens chaos (click here), while the ‘victory’ it had last year in opening restaurants to dog owners has fallen pretty much flat (click here).

Thus the IVA ‘achievement’ in an election year may seem very important.

However Protoiro will be doing its utmost to see the move scuppered, citing “illegal discrimination” if necessary.

The association’s statement stressed that all artists in Portugal are exempt from paying IVA, thus to suddenly exclude bullfighters would create grounds for appeal.

“Bullfighting has the same legal statute as other arts, and bullfighters are legally recognised as artists, demanding respect and equal treatment before the law”, added president of the bullfighters association Nuno Pardal, while Helder Milheiro, secretary general of ProToiro said he “did not want to believe that the government and Socialist Party could support illegal, censorious and anti-democratic ideals.

“It would be an absurdity that would shock electors who see in the Socialist DNA values of liberty, tolerance and cultural diversity”, he said.