MORE than half the population of Spain (54.2 percent) believes it pays too much in tax and a similar number (54.7 percent) says it gets very little in return, the Sociological Investigation Centre (CIS) confirmed yesterday.

Research also showed that more than three quarters of those interviewed consider that tax is collected unfairly. “Those who have more should pay more,” was the general opinion of 78.3 percent of people taking part in the poll.

An even higher number, 84.8 percent of the national population believe that tax fraud is widespread and more than half, 56.4 percent, think that Central Government does little, or too little, to combat it.

The CIS study which was carried out in July this year, claimed that 56.4 percent of the population agree that taxes are necessary so that the State can fulfill its commitments to the public. But with the exception of the Health service and infrastructure, many interviewees said they were unhappy with public services the government provides.

In a separate report analysing public opinion of the Health service, 60.2 percent of those polled said that it functioned either very well, or quite well. Over 57 percent thought the same of national infrastructure such as roads and motorways.

However, less than a half (49.6 percent) were satisfied with the work carried out by the security forces or other institutions committed to ensuring public safety.

Only 46.8 percent said that standards in education were good, or quite good and only just over 18 percent held the same opinion of the Justice system.

When people were questioned about the allocation of public spending, over half (50.2%) said they thought that money which was taken up by the Health service was justified but almost 40 percent said that funding in this sector was insufficient.

The greatest criticism was levied at Defence spending where 38 percent of interviewees said that too much public money was given over to the armed forces and armaments.

Whilst 42.5 percent of people said that it was desirable for the government to spend more on social and public services even though it might mean higher individual taxation, 54.5 percent said that they did not benefit from the state pro rata the level of taxation they paid.

Meanwhile, less than half the population (49.3%) said that they were “entirely” or “mostly” responsible in paying what they owed to the state in taxation on an annual basis.


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