Spain to apply a new tax on the rich from 1 January but it will be a temporary measure, government says

The Minister of Finance said the rate of tax is still being worked on and accused regions run by the Partido Popular of being “irresponsible” by reducing taxes

P. DE LAS HERAS / C. VALLEJO Madrid

Spain's Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, has given some initial details of a new tax on the very rich which will come into force on 1 January. It will affect no more than 1% of the population and will be a temporary measure, such as those on the energy companies and banks. She did not say what the rate of tax will be or the wealth level above which someone will have to pay it, as the government is still working on that.

The PSOE/Unidas Podemos coalition thinks differently to opposition parties who are in favour of cutting taxes rather than increasing them or introducing new ones, and Montero had words of criticism for the regional government in Murcia, which has just announced that it too will be reducing the rate of personal income tax, like Madrid and Andalucía, and is considering joining them in abolishing wealth tax. She said this was irresponsible and would have disastrous consequences on the welfare system.

“We are managing this crisis differently,” she said. “It is necessary to ask for more from those with the most wealth, the highest income and windfall profits”.

"Outrageous" proposals adopted

Podemos leader Pablo Echenique said he was glad that the PSOE was now partly introducing something his party has been demanding for a long time.

“It’s always the same with our proposals; first they are said to be outrageous, then impossible, then the EU wouldn’t allow it, then they start to sound a bit better, then they’re introduced but only temporarily and then they end up being permanent,” he said, “and they know we are going to keep insisting on a wealth tax which will be not only fair but also permanent.