The Balearic parliament has continued its debate over the draft legislation for introducing the sustainable tourism tax, Podemos having made its observations and pointing to potential amendments to the draft.
The party wants revenue raised to principally go towards the environment. Under the draft this is just one of five key areas of "purpose" that have been identified. Podemos has also been considering how the commission to be established to decide on ways that revenue will be allocated should function. It wants the public to be consulted over 30% of the various projects.
Furthermore, Podemos is seeking an amendment to the off-season 50% discount on the tax. It wants the rate to be the same all year, meaning, for example, that a 1.50 euro per day charge (for three and four-star hotels) in summer would remain the same in winter.
In more general terms, the party is looking for the tax revenue to also go towards job creation, especially in the low season, and the diversification of the Balearic economic and productive model.
Podemos spokesperson, Laura Camargo, and another parliamentary deputy, Aitor Morràs, told a press conference that the party will be negotiating its proposals with the committee that is monitoring the agreements for government in the Balearics, i.e. with representatives from PSOE and Més.
Another of these proposals concerns allocations to the individual islands. Accordingly, the amount that each island would receive would correspond with the number of tourists it receives in proportion to the resident population and land area. Camargo pointed, in particular, to the "colossal number" of visitors that Formentera receives each summer.
Under the draft, it is currently envisaged that hotel employees who stay in hotel accommodation would be exempt from the tax. Podemos wants this to go, saying that is unfair on other workers.
A proposed amendment from the Partido Popular - for cruise-ship passengers to be exempt because of the limited amount of time they spend on any of the islands - is not one with which Podemos agrees. There should be no such exemption.
Away from the draft itself and on the announcement by the Majorca Hoteliers Federation that some hoteliers may well bear the cost of the tax, Morrás observed that if this were to be the case, then it should not lead to a reduction in employee working conditions.
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