Laura Camargo (centre) of Podemos is calling for an increase in the tourist tax. | Miquel A. Cañellas

With a rise in the tourist tax in 2018 said to be favoured by some members of the government, Biel Barceló yesterday didn't rule out there being an increase.

The vice-president and tourism minister, speaking ahead of today's parliamentary session at which the tax will be debated, said that there will be a review of the full year of the tax's implementation (i.e. 2017) in order to assess its impact. "We want to see how it has worked and what the social and economic implications have been. Then will be the time to evaluate if any issue needs improving or modifying. Now is not the time to be talking about an increase. As for 2018, we aren't closing the door on looking at any possibility."

Although Barceló referred to a consideration of the tax in 2017 before any decisions are made for the 2018 budget, the drafting of that budget does of course occur before the end of the year.

The debate today was called for by Podemos. Party spokesperson Laura Camargo insists that the tourist tax should be a genuine sustainable tax and that the rate should be increased. The tax at present is being used to plug gaps in the budget and does nothing to stop "the massive arrival of visitors".

Camargo said yesterday that the tax needs to reflect the agreements of change for government and therefore be a green tax which is spent on the environment. Bel Busquets, Barceló's colleague in Més, explained that there was agreement to look into a possible increase in the tax. "It has to act as a means of adjusting demand."