Més have registered a motion which will call on the Balearic parliament to condemn the national minister of development, José Luis Ábalos, for having questioned the right of residents to benefit from the 75% flight discount and for linking flight use to individuals' incomes. Ábalos announced earlier this week that the ministry wants to know who exactly is benefiting from the discounts and how many times they are benefiting. The Tax Agency is being asked to compare flight databases with incomes.
The party believes that this check amounts to a breach of general taxation law. "It is flagrant illegality" to use taxpayer data in studying the number of times the discount is used. Més also want to know what the Data Protection Agency has to say about "the unauthorised use of Balearics residents' income data".
Més have meanwhile denounced the fact that the increase in the discount from 50% to 75% has provoked increased prices for flights; by 20% according to development ministry figures or by 27%, the amount given by the Aviba association of travel agencies in the Balearics.
President Armengol had her say yesterday in tweeting that the 75% discount is a collective right to compensate for the fact of living on an island. "The disadvantage we all suffer (in the Balearics) has nothing to do with level of income."
The president later spoke to Ábalos by phone and wanted him to clarify exactly what he has been proposing. According to government spokesperson Pilar Costa, the minister assured Armengol that the 75% discount is guarantee for all residents of the Balearics "without distinction". This guarantee, Costa added, is enshrined in the law for the Balearics special regime. "It would seem that the minister has said that the issue is much broader and is a report into questions regarding the use of the discount." The minister and the president didn't apparently discuss the matter in depth.