Trabalho publicado em Revista Econômica, 5 (1), junho 2003: 101-108.
Abstract. This note compares two documents on social expenditures with opposite ideological perspectives. Both agree that civil service's social security system is regressive. Yet, based on this fact the Lisboa-document concludes that social expenditures are in general regressive. The Porchmann-document obviously disagrees. I add that, after the transition to democracy, in 1985, while growth of income per capita lagged behind, increasing just 8.5% in 20 years, social expenditure per capita increased 43.4%. This increase explains the significant improvement in social standards in the period, and demonstrates that, contrarily to the conservative claim, social expenditures are effective in reducing inequality.