Més deputies having an animated confab in parliament.

11-10-2016Teresa Ayuga

With the 2017 budget still to be finalised, there is more evidence as to tensions surrounding its setting. While questions regarding the spending ceiling, the introduction of new taxes and the rate of the tourist tax have tended to dominate discussions, there are also those surrounding the budgets for individual ministries.

Més control four of the ministries - environment, agriculture and fisheries; tourism, innovation and research; transparency, culture and sport; and social services and cooperation. The two highest-spending ministries (and by some distance) - health and education - are under PSOE, as are the ministries for the presidency; land, energy and transport; employment, trade and industry; and finance and public administration.

On Thursday, there was a meeting of Més parliamentary deputies at which they discussed ways of "pressurising" finance minister Catalina Cladera into amending the initial budget proposal and assigning more to the ministries that Més run.

The tensions this is raising had surfaced on Tuesday when the announcement was made as to the initial proposal. The spokesperson of Més in Minorca, Nel Martí, was engaged in a heated discussion with Cladera. There were apparently other exchanges.

Specific demands that Més are making are for more environment and tourism inspectors as well as for more resources for conservation, innovation and culture projects. Where tourism inspectors are concerned, there have also been issues with their pay. For some time during the season they were not leaving their offices because of a dispute arising from not having had salary increases for several years and from discovering that petrol allowances were now subject to income tax.

This dispute and an apparent lack of proactivity resulted in there being only 198 inspections of potentially illegal holiday rental properties. These inspections led to 159 infringements being identified, but in most cases the inspections had been made because neighbours had complained.

With the draft text for holiday rentals legislation due to be published later this month and with the government anticipating tighter regulation of all-inclusives, there is a need for more inspectors.

While Més and PSOE seek to give the impression that everything is running smoothly, the reality is somewhat different. There are significant differences between the two parties, ones now potentially being complicated by the formal involvement of Podemos in the budget-setting process.


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Steve / Hace 8 days

Good idea more inspectors. They'll be kept busy clamping down on the hotels showing 4 stars and only meeting the official criteria for 2 in Calviá. Among the qualifying criteria is a grill option at mealtimes, rooms with wi-fi and room service, in-house hairdressers, excercise and conference rooms and valet parking. There are many more.


Ron / Hace 8 days

This horse trading of ministries between 2 parties which together only achieved the thinnest majority is grossly unfair - especially as Més only achieved 14% support from the electorate (first election). And of course as left wing/nationalists - even communists - they will never agree on anything. Just look at the fiasco created in central government, where Spain is now the laughing stock of Europe. I suppose though that lots of 'inspectors' will be created and offered civil service jobs with big wages/pensions etc. Of course that will solve the unemployment crisis. Are they going to be properly trained? I doubt that! Maybe jobs for the hotel, restaurant, bar, car hire unemployed this winter! But only if you have B2 catalán - so that will exclude most.