Tourism minister Biel Barceló today insisted that there will be no rise in the tourist tax next year. "The government is not proposing an increase to taxes and so the consensus within the government is for no increase to the tourist tax."
Responding to the Partido Popular's tourism spokesperson Alvaró Gijón, Barceló added that there is to be a report into the impact of the tax. This might lead to it being "reframed" in 2018.
Gijón said that the Balearics' principal economic activity was not being managed in a "very intelligent" way by the government, noting contradictions made by Barceló in respect of the purposes for which tourist tax revenue is intended and further ones regarding so-called tourist saturation.
Barceló answered this by saying that the government has never spoken about there being too many tourists. It has spoken about the need to regulate the influx of tourists in a better way. "We cannot have more increase in summer," he stressed.
President Armengol backed up what Barceló had said about the tax. Replying to Jaume Font of El Pi, she said that there were no plans for increasing any tax in 2017. Nevertheless, fiscal policy had to "very flexible" and it will be studied throughout the duration of the current administration.
Font said that any tax rises would be "very unfair" while at the same time calling for a united front in the Balearics to demand better funding by Madrid.
The president defended the tourist tax by describing it as a form of "solidarity" payment for dealing with the impact of tourism on the islands.