STAFF REPORTER REGIONAL Government yesterday approved tax cuts to put life back into the ailing economy of the Balearics and boost employment. Significant allowances will be made for companies which set up business or manufacturing operations creating job contracts in the process.

Other measures included in the new programme are plans to make it easier for the most economically disadvantaged groups in the community to acquire their own home. These would include young people under 36-years-of-age, the handicapped, and particularly large families. Support will be given to these sectors of society through a 50 percent cut in inheritance tax as well as slashing the equivalent of Stamp Duty - moves which will make the purchase of their first home a reality for people who in today's economic climate, might otherwise have to put the concept “on the back burner”. In the event of people applying for the purchase of subsidised housing, these taxes would undergo a 75 percent cut.

Yesterday's Parliamentary motion proposed tax relief for the over 65s and separately, to encourage self-employment, a 250 euro deduction will be made for under 36-year-old contributors to the Inland Revenue and an even larger sum for women of other ages who want to go into business on their own. During the debate on the tax cuts, Opposition MP Jaume Tadeo said that the communities of people to whom such benefits are afforded should be widened even further. He complained that of the three basis pillars of aid for the Balearics during this time of economic crisis, - regional financial restructuring, State support, and a separate grant to compensate the region for costs it has to bear for being an Island community - “we don't have good news about any of these, and it's all come far too late.” Socialist MP Joan Bonet replied that the Opposition was creating unnecessary “alarm” about the present financial situation, being experienced on a national and international level. He said they were refusing to acknowledge the “very real” efforts the Balearic government had made to negotiate with Central Government, social institutions and industry to confront the crisis, and suggested that the Opposition would be critical of the government no matter what solutions it came up with.

Left wing coalition parliamentary spokesman, Biel Barcelo meanwhile said it was necessary for government intervention in matters such as the soaring unemployment rate, plummeting trade and company closure.