The leader of PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, speaks during the last day of the 38th meeting of the Cercle d'Economia, in Barcelona, ​​on May 31, 2023.
The leader of PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, speaks during the last day of the 38th meeting of the Cercle d’Economia, in Barcelona, ​​on May 31, 2023.David Zorrakino – Europa Press (Europa Press)

The leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has described this Wednesday at the Cercle d’Economia conference in Barcelona as “unfair” the wealth tax, advancing that the first thing he would do if he were president of the Government is to return it to the autonomous communities and In addition, he has suggested that he would eliminate taxes on banks and electricity companies, all while containing the debt. Despite the statements avoiding that it can be suppressed in the event of Feijóo’s victory on 23-J, the tax that weighs on the electric companies that enter more than 1,000 million euros is at the European level, promoted from Brussels, thus complicating its repeal. Feijóo has charged in the past against its configuration in Spain. While in Europe it is applied to profits, in the Spanish case the tax withdraws 1.2% of the income of electric companies, so that the “elimination” may refer to the current form in which it is presented rather than to such a deletion.

The president of the Popular Party has affirmed that the public debt in Spain (at all-time highs, exceeding 1.5 trillion euros) is his “first great concern” in economic terms and has regretted that Spain is the last country in the European Union in recovering the GDP of 2019 and that it has not yet achieved, which he has described as “a suspense without any qualification”. In his opinion, not having lowered personal income tax for medium and low incomes is “an unsupportive policy” and he has criticized having allocated bonuses to young people or approving free trains regardless of income.

When asked by the president of the Cercle, Jaume Guardiola, if he would eliminate the wealth tax, Feijóo has made an initial reflection that has provoked applause from the businessmen present at the event. For him, the Catalans are “the most splendid” of all Spaniards because they are the ones who pay the most taxes in Spain and, therefore, in that sense, “the most patriotic”. Immediately afterwards, he has considered that, from a fiscal point of view, the wealth tax is unfair because “you cannot always pay for the same thing every year.”

The wealth tax was abolished in 2008 by the then Prime Minister, the socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Subsequently, in 2012, the popular Mariano Rajoy rescued it by giving it the form of a state-managed tax, but whose income derived from the autonomous communities, leaving them the power to discount it to 100%, a possibility that only the community decided to carry out. from Madrid. Heritage contributed 1,141 million euros to the coffers of the autonomous communities in 2020 (except for the Basque Country and Navarra), a figure to which 2,177 million are added from a mechanism that was created as compensation for the autonomous accounts when it was originally repealed. Catalonia was the autonomous community that obtained the most income that year from the wealth tax. Specifically, 546 million euros.

Beyond the wealth tax, Feijóo has also hinted that he would eliminate taxes on banks and electricity companies by adopting a very critical stance with both temporary taxes. Regarding the first of them, he has said that if you want to solve the increase in mortgages, you can “create a fund with the bank, but not create a tax that is under judicial review and that will foreseeably have to be returned.” In the past, the Bank of Spain estimated that this tax on banks would represent around 5% of the net result of entities in 2022.

This rate to financial entities, like that of electricity companies, is designed to be paid in two payments. Last February, the Treasury revealed that the first of those that would have to be executed left an extra 637.1 million euros to the treasury by the banks, while the electric companies contributed 817.4 million. In total, some 1,454 million euros, almost half of the 3,000 million that the Treasury expects to obtain with these two temporary taxes that Feijóo has now targeted.

Regarding the tax on electric companies, Feijóo has said that “it seems that it is made to lose it and return it.” “These types of policies may capture votes, but not investment”, stressed Feijóo, who added: “The economic situation in Spain is not for any triumphalism, but for realism, and it seems good to me that we forget conformism and start a reform policy”.

What more fiscal measures can come with the PP?

In a document that the Popular Party shares on its website entitled “Plan for urgent and extraordinary measures in defense of families and the Spanish economy”, an extensive section is dedicated to talking about taxation. In essence, the party defends that there is an over-collection of taxes due to inflation that should be returned to the pockets of the citizenry.

“This objective can be achieved by adopting various measures to mitigate the impact for families. Among them, an extraordinary and temporary reduction in personal income tax with an impact on low and medium incomes, as well as on the activity of the self-employed, the drop in indirect taxes to reduce the cost of consumer products in families and inputs in companies through At the same time, the administrative management of existing returns and discounts is simplified, and always in cooperation with the CCAAs and respecting their area of ​​competence”, the document states.

Among the highlights, the deflation of personal income tax or increasing the figure of the personal minimum when declaring the Income tax is included.

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