Discussing an increase to the tourist tax? Laura Camargo and Alberto Jarabo.

21-09-2016Teresa Ayuga

There is increasing confusion surrounding the Balearic budget for 2017. Last week it was announced that there would be an increase in spending by around 10%, the justification for this - from Catalina Cladera's finance ministry - being anticipated tax revenues because of economic growth. Yet it was an announcement made still without knowledge of information regarding funding from the national government.

Vicenç Thomàs, the general secretary of PSOE's parliamentary group (Cladera is from PSOE), suggested today that the finance ministry was looking at whether it will be necessary to modify the figures.

As for any increase in taxes, Thomàs said that this was not a major part of negotiations over the budget (with other parties) and regretted that "conditions" were being set before the parties had sat down to undertake the negotiations. Podemos has been told that conditions cannot be laid down. He added that the government has never said that it is against an increase in taxes.

The problem with this is that Cladera has been equivocal on taxes, especially an increase to the tourist tax. She said that it won't go up (and tourism minister Biel Barceló had suggested much the same) but then seemed to leave the door open to the possibility.

The confusion regarding the budget, in addition to the lack of information from Madrid, is coming from Podemos's direct input, and its parliamentary spokesperson, Laura Camargo, today reiterated the party's request for an increase to the tourist tax and for the introduction of new green taxes.

Camargo said she felt that the government was being optimistic in expecting that Madrid funding will support the planned spending increase.

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