Introduce a wealth tax, raise corporate tax and reduce the black economy: these are some of the proposed alternatives to cuts unveiled by the union of Spain’s tax officials Wednesday.
Cuts to the pay and benefits of public sector workers were announced last week as part of a new round of austerity measures planned by the rightwing government of Mariano Rajoy.
The measures are ‘unfair’ says the union, named Gestha, which has come up with some detailed proposals of how the government can go some way to achieving its 65 billion euros savings target without the burden falling the country’s 2.6 million ‘civil servants’ – public sector workers employed by central, regional and local government – or the middle classes.
The union rules out the recessionary value added tax rises – which were among the measures announced last week – or increases of income tax.
Instead it proposes:
- introduce a new tax on wealth – 3.4 billion euros to the treasury
- and fresh charges on financial investment funds ( SICAV) and on ‘speculative gains’ – 1.4 billion euros
- raising corporate tax to 35% for companies with annual profits of more than a million euros – 14 billion euros
- reducing the underground economy by ten percentage points – 38.5 billion euros
- a tax on financial transactions – 5 billion euros
Many of these ideas have already been promoted by others : the main opposition socialists, for example, have been calling for months for a wealth tax. The communist-led United Left has also long demanded a financial transactions tax.
‘Government cuts are a brutal attack on public employees, a stigmatization of this group of workers, without regard to economic or social justice,’ states the union.
‘We are paying for the mistakes of others: public employees have not generated the 60 billion euro hole in the national accounts, nor are we responsible for the huge financial debts of the regions or local municipalities,’ adds Gestha, which has declared its full support for the nationwide demonstrations and rallies against the government’s spending cuts called by trade unions Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) and UGT for Thursday.