We now have a tourist tax and the great debate has already started. The tax in itself is not a lot of money. But what is important to me is that people are to be taxed to go away on holiday. We are not living on an unspoilt island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We are living in a group of islands which have benefited greatly from tourism over the last four decades. I think Keith Betton of the Association of British Travel Agents hit the nail on the head when he said that it should be those who benefit from tourism who should pay the surcharge, not the holidaymaker who brings wealth to the islands. The local government hopes to raise 40 million pounds a year, and I would like to know exactly what they are going to do with this small limited sum of money. You cannot expect to resolve all the ills of the Balearics with 40 million pounds. The travel industry is concerned because they believe that it is just the start. Every time the local government needs some more cash, they will simply increase the tourist tax. It is difficult to be positive. I am sure the local government would probably raise more money if they would just ask tourists to make a donation to preserve the Balearics. This would be a voluntary donation.

If the local government want to find alternative forms of revenue perhaps they should look elsewhere. There is something rather un-European about charging fellow Europeans a tax to come on holiday within the European Union. Whatever, happened to the free movement of people across the EU? Free movement, of course, as long you pay a tax.

Jason Moore


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