Staff Reporter
THE Socialist Party (PSOE) expressed its concern that what it sees as “the excessive Government debt” for 2005, which is estimated to reach 635 million euros, will hit residents who will most likely have to pay higher taxes, according to spokeswoman Francina Armengol.

The abolition of the tourist tax caused the increase in government debt, claimed Armengol, alleging that the tourist tax would have raised approximately 52 million euros yearly and would not have affected residents. The Balearic Government led by Jaume Matas “has not found another means to compensate for this shortfall in funds” she added.

Armengol further criticised the Government by stating that the first measure it took to ease the budget deficit was to increase the tax on legal work by 100 per cent.

With this increase in tax, the Government expects to collect 137.7 million euros yearly instead of 62 million euros.
And Armengol predicted “the next tax that is likely to increase is on fuel.” This will mean, she said, that Balearic residents, “who already put up with the highest fiscal pressure in Spain, still suffer another fiscal injustice.” “This proves the political cynicism of the Balearic Partido Popular, even though they promised during their electoral campaign to lower taxes on the islands”, she said.

Armengol compared the Government debt to “(Partido Popular spokesman) Zaplana's financial model” with “hugely imbalanced finances where the money has been invested in the macro infrastructures, such as motorways and Costa Nord, which do not offer solutions to all the daily problems that residents are faced with,” she said.

She added that “the government debt for 2005 is bigger than that contracted during the four years of the Coalition government.” Armengol also used the occasion to ask the Leader of the Balearic Government, Jaume Matas, “to change his attitude,” because, in her opinion “the Government has been very confrontational with the central Government in Madrid and this has led to a reduction in investments for the Balearic Islands.”


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