The full session of the Balearic parliament would have been today had it not been for Balearics Day: parliament had a day off. Back to business tomorrow and top of the agenda is the long-awaited movement on holiday rentals' legislation. This, the government had suggested soon after taking office, would be priority legislation that would need to be effected before any legislation on the tourist tax. This has not been the case, but finally regulation appears to be edging closer.
There are two motions being presented today. The El Pi party is proposing a change to the 2012 law on holiday home rentalsl that would regulate the use of apartments as well as standalone properties, by which it means that apartments could be marketed legally as holiday accommodation. There is an additional item for this which would mean that properties would have to be at least five years old before they could be considered as holiday accommodation. The reasoning behind this is to prevent oversupply.
The Partido Popular will also be presenting a motion. The context to proposals to be made by the party's tourism spokesperson, Alvaro Gijon, is the potential for overcrowding in non-regulated properties. He has referred to small apartments being occupied by six people and to a total absence of control of this. He also points out that there is no way of knowing just how many properties of varying types are contributing to the 40 per cent, he says, of non-hotel accommodation in the Balearics. The tourism law, he argues, had envisaged there being a census of this accommodation and this has not been carried out. Gijón is further arguing that it is "reckless" of the government to be contemplating the introduction of the tourist tax when there is 40% of accommodation supply that will not be paying it.
The PP proposals for regulation are being met with some irony by PSOE. Vicenç Thomas, a parliamentary vice-president (deputy speaker, in other words), has observed that the PP, both in the Balearics and nationally, had spent four years doing nothing about regulation. Indeed, the tourism law reinforced the exclusion of certain types of property that could be openly and legally marketed as holiday accommodation.
A spokesperson for Més, the ex-mayor of Santa Margalida, Toni Reus, has criticised the "cynicism" of the PP in now wishing to promote regulation. Reus stresses that Més is in favour of regulation that will permit families to benefit from this type of rental but that it has to be regulation that will ensure quality of accommodation.
In other business, Més is to advocate the inclusion of flat-rate air tariffs for inter-island flights and to Madrid and Barcelona within the package for the new special economic regime for the Balearics (which has to be negotiated with national government).
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