Podemos parliamentary spokesperson, Laura Camargo, yesterday branded the application of the tourist tax a fraud on the citizenship, adding that the party had not expected that there would be a block placed by the government in not accepting amendments to the tax's legislation that have been presented by Podemos. She told a press conference that Podemos had not believed that they would be at the situation they currently are with the law and that if there were a vote right now, it would not be a vote for an eco-tax.
Podemos has been demanding that tourist tax revenue should be used only for the environment, while it is one only element of the five key areas of application envisaged under the draft law. Podemos has also been arguing for a system of revenue distribution that has brought it into dispute with the government as it appears discriminatory towards Majorca.
The Partido Popular's Marga Prohens, in responding to Camargo's fraud claim, suggested that Camargo should support the PP's amendment to the whole of the bill. Another PP parliamentary deputy, Alvaro Gijón, said that there had been a meeting with Podemos but now expects that there could be further contact with the aim of gaining some months so that the tax is as consensual as possible.
Gijón explained that the PP's amendment to the whole bill was based on the fact that the tax is going to be harmful and will mean that the same mistakes as twelve years ago are committed (the old eco-tax was introduced in 2002). He added that the tourist tax would also make negotiations on lowering airport charges and the tourist rate of IVA (VAT) more difficult.
The PP has also proposed various partial amendments, one of these being that the tax is not introduced until 2017. Gijón stressed that it shouldn't be introduced while there remains the issue of holiday rentals, which represent 40% of tourist accommodation. The PP also wants the tax to not be charged in the winter season and for there to be a 50% discount in the lower months of the main season because of the variance between different resorts on the islands.
Further amendments that the PP wants to see would be a reduction in what residents would have to pay in the second year and investment of tax revenue that would be proportional and based on territories (i.e. the different islands). In this respect, the PP would like decisions on projects to be financed by the tax revenue to include input from the public and associations. Furthermore, the party wants there to be an external study in the fourth year of the tax to assess how the tax has affected demand, investment and jobs. It also believes that the tax burden on residents should be reduced in the event that there is an increase to tourist tax collection.
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