By Jason Moore
TALK about scoring an own-goal. Our illustrious Balearic government, who were so opposed to the tourist tax claiming that holidaymakers would never pay it, have come up with an even better idea: charge tourists over the odds every time they rent a car. This absolute masterpiece of forward thinking has strangely enough, caused an outcry in Germany and Britain. Wonder why? It's such a great idea that it even hits the new market which has been saving the Balearics' bacon for the last five seasons, the independent traveller, who arrives on the island, hires a car and then drives to the hotel or holiday apartment. As an additional sweetener the government claims that at least 20'000 rent-a-cars will be withdrawn from the roads. What? Only 20'000? I think at five euros a day it will be far higher. I thought that one of the reasons we were building all these new roads was to accommodate all the rent-a-cars during the summer. This is absolute madness and in the same way as the tourist tax was badly planned this could be even worse. The money from this car tax will be used to finance the national health service. In other words the local government has got its sums wrong and is desperate to find other ways to finance all the roads and hospitals it wants to build. And who has to pay? The poor old tourist. But what the local government must realise is that holidaymakers are no longer as loyal to the islands as they once were and if they are over-charged they will go elsewhere. Their tax burden in the their own country is high enough and they shouldn't be singled out for special attention from the Balearic government.


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