Palma.—The small and medium sized commercial sector in the Balearics saw trade drop by nearly five percent last year, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE) yesterday.

According to the latest year-on-year data, trade fell by 4.7 percent in comparison to 2010 with October being one of the worst months in the Balearics with taking crashing by eight percent.

December was also a tough month with business down by 3.2 percent.
However, according to the report, the small and medium sized commercial sector suffered in all of Spain's autonomous regions and the Balearics was not the worst hit.

In Aragon, for example, trade was down by as much as 7.7 percent.
But, there is some good news.
The Minister of Finance and Public Administration, Cristobal Montoro, has promised that there will be no immediate tax increases, and stressed that the Government wanted to approve tax measures to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the self-employed during the first quarter of 2012.

No tax increases “There will be no new tax increases, ladies and gentlemen,” said Montoro in his first appearance before the Committee for the Congress of Deputies.
He stated that if the government had had to “temporarily” raise income tax and property tax it is because of the “inherited situation”.
According to Montoro, the income tax rise implemented on December 30th “should not harm economic development or reduce consumption”.
The minister said the government will review the fiscal equity within the family unit so as to improve personal and family minimums, and added that to promote savings, he will review pension plan payments.

He also reiterated the need to undertake measures to stimulate economic activity amongst SMEs and the self-employed, and to grant tax concessions to entrepreneurs.

In this regard, he advocated a fiscal framework offering more support in terms of meeting tax obligations, which would allow them to devote part of their profit to creating jobs.

Deficit reduction
The Finance Minister stressed the commitment of the autonomous regions to a new law on budgetary stability, highlighting their firm resolve to contribute to deficit reduction, which is “fundamental to building trust.” Montoro made it clear that he believes the autonomous status is entirely compatible with efficient government.


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