Tourist tax

Busquets in parliament.

30-10-2018

The Partido Popular's Marga Prohens has attacked the government's "ecoestafa", an eco-scam with regard to the spending of tourist tax revenue.

In parliament yesterday, Prohens accused the government of having steamrollered spending decisions through the commission which makes these decisions in order that it could use revenue "to buy fincas, acquire patrimony and build social housing".

The PP's spokesperson observed that, at the same time, no projects presented by Manacor town hall were approved - these having included one for reducing nitrates in water - while projects for waste treatment plants in Minorca were also ignored.

Prohens accepted the need to invest in social housing, but she was critical of an "eco-scam" that cannot disguise the fact that there hasn't been investment in social housing despite the current government having had 1,300 million euros more at its disposal since 2015.

There was criticism also of vice-president and tourism minister Bel Busquet's apparent inability to regulate all-inclusive during the current period of government, while she was nevertheless able to spend money on the dinner at the London World Travel Market. Prohens suggested that this was payment so that journalists can "speak well" of her (Busquets). The sponsorship of the dinner*, Prohens continued, does not cover up "her inability, her tourismphobia and the fact that beaches are full of excrement".

Busquets responded by saying that she was "very proud" of the tourist tax and that it has the support of the public. She added that not a single incident regarding the payment of the tax by tourists has been recorded. As far as the commission was concerned, she observed that there was 80% voting in favour of the tourist tax spending decisions. There were two votes against and two abstentions.

The tourist tax has brought in 200 million euros, half of which has gone towards (or will go towards) environmental projects.

* The Aetib tourism agency is spending some 17,000 euros on the dinner at the awards gala for the British Guild of Travel Writers at the Savoy Hotel.