Minister for Tourism, Biel Barcelo.

17-07-2015Teresa Ayuga

The regional government has caused confusion over its schedule for the introduction of the tourist eco-tax. The release this week of its initial legislative agenda included no specific mention of the tax, a fact that Margalida Prohens, the Partido Popular parliamentary spokesperson, picked up on. She observed that the government appears to have three separate ideas (because of three different parties in government) when it comes to the tax and that it would first have to agree on which one.

The absence of the eco-tax - which was a central policy for both Podemos and Més during the election campaign - led to differing explanations by the partners in government. For Podemos, depending on who said what, it was either a priority or something that was not going to be approved among the first package of legislative changes.

David Abril of Més said that the tax will be approved but hadn’t in fact been discussed at a co-ordination meeting this week. He added, though, that despite the non-appearance of the tax it was “obviously” going to be introduced.

Sources from the government itself were saying that the tax wouldn’t form part of its budgets for 2016 but that it would be working on the framework for the tax in order that it can probably be introduced in 2017.

Now, however, the vice-president and minister for tourism, Biel Barceló, has contradicted this apparent government line by saying that the tax will be approved early next year and that legal and financial services at the government are preparing reports on how the tax can be applied and spent on environmental conservation, heritage and the renewal of tourist centres.

Once these reports are available, says Barceló, the government will get together with the islands’ councils and the tourism industry with the aim of drafting final approval of the tax.

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Anne Richardson / Hace over 6 years

Sir,, Having seen this disastrous tax fail previously I am amazed at attempts to reinstate it. Last time our hotel reimbursed us but I for one will change my holiday destination if it is reintroduced. This grasping attitude to tourists who already benefit the economy is unwelcoming and discriminatory. It is hardly our fault if local government has not had the foresight to reinvest the money they have already received.

+4-

Alan Brown / Hace over 6 years

As EU legislation prohibits discrimination on the grounds of nationality, it may be necessary to bend the rules to accommodate this tax. In April, Brussels said that the proposed Lisbon Tourism Tax goes against EU law.

+3-