By Jason Moore

BALEARIC leader Jaume Matas has called the tourist industry together to discuss the tourist tax. What is there to discuss?
He promised to scrap it and by this late stage it should have been scrapped.
If he seriously believes that the controversial levy was the main reason why tourism is in decline he should have called an extraordinary meeting of the Balearic parliament and used his majority to end it. End of story. What I find deeply concerning is that while Matas and the tourist industry are sitting around discussing the tax thousands of tourists will still be paying it and in theory those who come to the island next month won't have to. I know the tax is a legacy of the last administration but tourism is the lifeblood of these islands. I hope I am proved wrong but I suspect that the tourist tax will be scrapped in its present form but re-packaged and then introduced as an airport charge. In other words tourists will end up paying the same. The Partido Popular, the now ruling party, have always said that a surcharge on holidaymakers is not a bad thing. They objected to the tourist tax because they claimed it was badly administered and should be paid by all tourists not just those who stay in hotels.
What is rather ironic is that plans by the last administration to levy the charge at the airport was blocked by the Partido Popular hence the rainbow coalition were forced to charge it at hotels. Sr. Matas live up to your promise and scrap tax right away. Tourists are not prepared to pay a tax in the Balearics when the rest of the mainland and the Canary Islands is tax-free.