Staff reporter

NOT everyone is in favour of scrapping the tourist tax all together, but that in fact, everyone travelling to the Balearics should pay it.
At present, only hotel and registered self catering accommodation clients are charged the tax, but the Secretary General of the Workers Union (UGT) in the Balearics, Lorenzo Bravo, declared yesterday that it would be a “blunder” to withdraw tourist tax, an action to which the new Balearic government has committed itself. He suggested an alternative of “restructuring” the tax by collecting it in ports and aiports so that funds for investment in the environment would not be lost. Bravo proposed instead, collecting the tax at ports or airports. This was offered as a possible alternative to the suppression of the tourist tax that is currently collected straight from clients in hotels and other tourist accommodation. The trade unionist made it clear that it is not his intention to enter into debate with senior government figures on the Islands but he did not want to see a source of income lost that needs to be injected into run-down tourist areas or environmental projects. “The Government will have to come up with some alternative to guarantee investments that are critical for improving the Islands' image as a tourist destination. Does it have to be by means of the eco-tax? We think so. Will they get the money from somewhere else? Then let them tell us from where.” Whatever the outcome, the Trade Union leader had confidence that the new government wouldn't repeal the tax until consultation had been made with the Tourist Committee. In this respect, Bravo was keen to have more details on how this organization is made up and hoped that it wouldn't “step on” a similar body already in existence, the Council of Tourism.