The Government sees a “contradiction” in the intention of Isabel Díaz Ayuso to lower taxes, specifically half a point for the sections of personal income tax, in the midst of a pandemic and while claiming funds from the State to face the crisis left by COVID-19. Although it has made it clear that it respects the powers of the autonomies in tax matters, the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, has questioned that “this is the right time” to lower taxes, taking into account that “collection is reduced.” “She does not advise that there be an added drop in that collection,” she said at the press conference after the Council of Ministers.
Ayuso insists on tax cuts despite the pandemic and announces a law to protect concerted education
Montero considers that it is a “contradiction” that “one can afford a tax cut” while demanding “extraordinary resources” from the State. The minister has assured that if the taxes are lowered “it is little of receipt that later it goes to the Government of Spain to ask that it does not have enough to pay the health or the education”. He has also rejected the “theory they have” – referring to the conservatives – that lowering taxes helps to increase revenue in other ways. “There is no scientific evidence,” she concluded.
In any case, the head of the Treasury has lowered expectations that the Community of Madrid, which other autonomies accuse of dumping I ended up lowering taxes in line with what Ayuso has defended. For Montero it is a mere “declaration of intent”: “I have not heard a commitment on a specific date.” As soon as the pandemic began, Ayuso claimed around 1,200 million euros extra to face the pandemic. The Community of Madrid is the one that will receive the most money from the 16,000 million non-refundable fund approved by the Executive in June. Ayuso has always claimed that the criteria for distribution should be that of the population, which benefits the region.
As for taxation at the state level, Montero has acknowledged that there will be “fiscal adjustments” in the preparation of the general state budgets for 2021, although putting aside the tax reform that the coalition intended to undertake. The minister has not wanted to give any details of the negotiation that she has already undertaken with United We Can, but has assured that the roadmap regarding the collection will be the programmatic agreement sealed by Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias, although they will have to “adapt it to the moment “.
Regarding the meetings that Iglesias is going to hold with some groups, such as ERC or Bildu, to address budget negotiations, both Montero and Carmen Calvo – who has appeared with the spokesperson to present the democratic memory law – have framed those meetings in normality, although they have made it clear that the small print will correspond to the Minister of Finance and, where appropriate, to the commission in charge of negotiating with the groups, which is piloted by Montero together with the Secretary of State for Social Rights, Nacho Álvarez.
“Budgets, as in all governments in the world, must be made by the Minister of Finance as is logical, and we will coordinate between the two formations that support this progressive government. But what is evident, that any member of the Government can speak with the parliamentary groups and in this case the leader of another political party, “said the first vice president. Asked if this round initiated by the second vice president is mandated by Pedro Sánchez to rally the support of ERC or EH Bildu, Montero has not clarified, but has slipped that it is a strategy communicated within the Executive: “In this Government no minister or vice president acts on their own and all ministers and all vice presidents have initiatives, and both issues are compatible.” “Any minister and any vice president, whose initiative contributes to achieving this ultimate goal, will be welcome,” he said about the approval of the budgets, which is key to the survival of the coalition. However, she has reiterated that when the time comes for the “details and numbers” with the groups, it will be her turn and Álvarez.