Some bars are staying open for takeaway, but most are not. | Patricia Lozano


Carmen Planas, president of the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations (CAEB), has criticised the "insensitivity" of many town halls, Palma in particular, in not having applied municipal tax exemptions. Planas insists that town halls comply with obligations that were agreed at the so-called social dialogue table and which are in accordance with the Balearics reactivation plan.

The CAEB president has expressed her surprise that municipalities like Palma are not acting when others are, such as Madrid, Seville and Las Palmas. The confederation cannot understand why Palma has decided that it cannot exempt businesses that are closed from having to pay the rubbish collection tax. Yet other municipalities, e.g. Calvia, Ibiza and Pollensa, "can do it".

Businesses most affected by the crisis, such as bars, restaurants and hotels, would not have to face these taxes until the end of June, if there were exemptions. Planas also points to tax discounts for promoting good environmental practice. Town halls such as Arta and Calvia offer discounts for recycling. She also notes that there could be a reduction in payment of taxes if there were direct debits. In Madrid, there is a five per cent reduction for rates and rubbish tax payments that are made this way.

If local authorities cannot adapt to the current crisis, Planas is of the view that they should consider contracting out waste management to the private sector. Waste legislation allows producers of non-hazardous commercial waste, who do not want to use the municipal service, to contract a private company that will provide a "more personalised and consistent service" and which would not bill customers during periods when they are inactive and are not generating waste.