Earlier this week, we had reported that the government was planning on spending a substantial portion of tourist tax revenue on improving water resources and infrastructure in the Balearics (30 million euros from revenue collected this year are said to be earmarked).
Following a meeting of the executive committee for the committee which decides how the revenue is spent, this has been confirmed. (Yes, there is a committee for a committee.) The proposal now goes to the full meeting of the committee on Monday, with the government's cabinet being the body which gives definitive approval. (That's three committees in all, then.) It will meet on Friday next week (23 September). After this, there will be a notice published on the Official Bulletin, following which there will be a thirty-day period during which "projects" can be presented.
Whatever these projects are, they will be to do with improving water supplies and with water treatment and recycling. Of other projects, tourism minister Biel Barceló suggests that priority is to be given this year to "innovative" ones, without giving any detail as to what innovative might mean. However, they could require co-funding via European funds.
Although the executive committee was unanimous in proposing the investment on water resources, there is one dissenting voice. Environmental lobby group GOB was unable to send a representative to the executive committee meeting, and GOB is not in favour of the proposal. This is because it doesn't believe that tourist tax revenue should be used to make good a deficit in government funding. Moreover, GOB insists, investment should not go towards "maintaining touristic over-exploitation".
Barceló has responded to GOB by saying that there will be no construction of new infrastructures, only an improvement of existing ones. As to water, he stressed that work on its supply infrastructure was stopped during the period of the Bauzá government (2011-2015). "Urgent action" is therefore now required.