STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE Partido Popular (PP) yesterday proposed slashing the number of jobs in the Balearic Government by a fifth as a means of cutting costs.
The PP leader, Rosa Estaras, said that the measure could save between four and five million euros at a difficult time for the economy.
Estaras outlined the proposal during the presentation of the PP's Anticrisis Plan, which contains a package of measures that the party plans to bring before the Balearic Parliament tomorrow (Monday). She said that the increase in the number of jobs during this legislature had cost in the region of two million euros and said this money could only be recouped “only be going back to the previous situation (when the PP was in power)” and eliminating all the new jobs and departments of Francesc Antich's administration.

Estaras also proposed, as another “austerity measure” during a crisis that “requires we tighten our belts”, a freeze on 10 percent of the Government's personnel, except in the areas of Education, Health and Social Services, and a reduction in the Government publicity and propaganda campaigns.

Estaras also called for the suspension of the Housing Law that is geared to obtaining land in order to build protected housing. Instead, she called for the Government to centre its efforts on disposing of the stock of 5'000 dwellings that currently exist in the Balearics. She said this latter measure would prevent more land being built on while helping “activate the economy”.

The PP leader also wants to see the reduction of capital gains tax from 7 percent to 3 percent to help boost the sale of secondhand housing and a reduction in IRPF to help people get to the end of the month.

The PP is also looking for a reduction in airport taxes in the medium and low season and is urging central Government to lower corporation tax to 20 percent.

In relation to unemployment and the prediction that in the next few months 10'000 people will lose their jobs in the Balearics, the party is proposing that social welfare be extended to those who are in the labour market but find themselves in “serious difficulties”.

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