By Humphrey Carter THE end of the tourist tax is nigh with Balearic cabinet ministers yesterday approving the government's bill to scrap the controversial tax as quickly as possible. The cabinet decision has hurt members of the previous left wing government, many of whom are still nursing the bruises of the heavy defeat at the May 25 elections. Former environment minister, the Green Party's Margalida Rossello, proclaimed yesterday that the government is only scrapping the tax because it was one of the former administration's “star” policies. In response Flaquer said that the funds raised were mismanaged by the previous government which also overspent. Nevertheless, Flaquer, the government spokesperson and Minister for Tourism, said that there is no turning back and that the tourist tax's days are numbered, although he repeated that, because of the parliamentary calendar, the tax cannot be scrapped until mid-October. The government ideally would have liked to have done away with the levy, which on average works out at one euro per day per holidaymaker over the age of 12, before the summer season reaches its peak. Flaquer was quick to stress that the scrapping of the tax is by no means an indication that the new government cares any less about the environment. He said that the new administration in fact cares far more about the environment and will be investing even more money into environmental protection and management, the only difference being the money will not be raised by taxing holidaymakers. Flaquer said that, for the most part, public money will be used along with a certain amount of private funding. The Minister for Tourism also said that the huge increase in the number of “residential” tourists over the past few years means that fewer and fewer holidaymakers were paying the tourist tax anyway. One of the main reasons for the tax being scrapped is that it only applied to guests staying in hotels or registered apartments with tens of thousands of holidaymakers falling through the loop hole and therefore millions of euros being lost. Over the next few weeks, the government will be carefully studying all of the tourist-tax funded projects already in place. Many will be completed, although the government wants to scrutinise how the money has been used.