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By Humphrey Carter SPAIN has certainly been under the EU spotlight recently and told to get its house in order on a number of issues from fishing to mortgages but, what abut the Matriculation Tax which has all but crippled the country's yacht charter industry. The discriminatory tax of 12 percent which is only applied in Spain, has been raised before various EU commissions on a number of occasions but the EU appears to have chosen to ignore the pleas from the yachting industry here in Spain despite, the cost of lost revenue and jobs that the tax has caused. Granted, Spain is renown for ignoring the EU on many of these issues but, the scrapping or reduction of the Mat Tax would be applied and policed by the industry itself.

Nautical experts have told the Bulletin time and time again, that this tax is costing the Balearics around 600 million euros per year in lost revenue, while the tax office, at the last count, raised a mere 1.5 million from the tax.

Surely, all parties would make more money if the tax was scrapped and the anchor was lifted off the charter industry allowing it to flourish again.
But no, with yacht skippers from around the world giving the Balearics a wide berth during the summer season, Madrid and Brussels are content to let the industry suffer. Considering the millions looking for work and the government searching for ways to generate new avenues of revenue, helping the nautical industry properly, makes common sense.