Further to yesterday's report regarding environmental taxes being considered for next year, it would seem that there is far more agreement on raising the ecotax (tourist tax) than was being hinted. Each of the three parties in the government "pact" - PSOE, Més and Podemos - is said to be in favour of increasing the tax rate. Tourism minister Biel Barceló had suggested that the rate would be left alone for the remainder of the legislature and that the only modification would be to the systems of settling tax payments from revenue collected by tourist establishments.
This still appears to be the official line coming from the government's executive, but there is an increasing possibility that the tax may go up. The government is planning to increase spending by 10% next year to around 3,800 million euros, justification for this being an anticipated general rise in tax revenues courtesy of economic growth. The forecast at present for tourist tax revenue in 2017 is between 60 and 70 million euros.
PSOE, as noted yesterday, is wanting to avoid additional environmental taxes, ones which both Més and Podemos also favour. These would be directed at companies such as Endesa - a tax on emissions at power stations - Cemex (cement) and Red Electrica (for its high-voltage power lines). The revenue from these taxes would not be that great. A figure of some six million euros has been suggested.
Into the budget-setting process for 2017 has now entered Podemos. The party didn't involve itself with this last year (not directly anyway), but following consultation with its citizens' council it now will.
Announcing Podemos's participation in the "negotiation" for the budget, Alberto Jarabo said that the party will work towards "a true change in the productive model and a rescue of public services". In looking for a "transformation" of Balearic society, Jarabo added that he is asking President Armengol to show the same forcefulness that she has in rejecting Mariano Rajoy as prime minister in producing a "budget of transformation" for the Balearic community.
Armengol, who needs to shore up any potential rift in the "pact" for government, has been looking to distance PSOE in the Balearics from the national party, which may end up allowing Rajoy to continue as prime minister. With Podemos entering the budget-setting process, the pact will appear to have been strengthened, albeit that it is a decision that Podemos has taken and will raise further questions as to who actually governs in the Balearics.
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