Tuesday, March 21

Feijóo, unable to specify the taxes that the central government is demanding to lower

Since Alberto Núñez Feijóo began to act as the de facto leader of the PP, he has focused his speech on economic issues and, specifically, on the reduction of taxes that he defends as adequate to face the crisis derived from the war in Ukraine and a inflation that continues to grow. This Thursday, however, he has not specified those claims. Faced with a direct question about what rates and to what extent they should be modified, he has postponed the answer to a hypothetical negotiation with the central government to modify the anti-crisis plan approved through amendments, which would require that, when it enters Congress, it be processed as a bill, the longest route for a set of measures planned, in principle, until June 30.

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Feijóo pointed out that when there is a “possibility” the PP will see “what specific taxes” and referred only to some proposal already stated, such as his party’s request to suspend the special tax on hydrocarbons and lower VAT to 4%, measures that would need the approval of the European Union and that would reduce the income of the State by some 20,000 million euros.

The Government’s plan does not spare criticism: “It should have been done much sooner and better.” He reproached on numerous occasions during the press conference after the weekly meeting of the Galician Government that Pedro Sánchez’s team acted “without seeking consensus with anyone” and “without previous meetings or documents”. The initiatives of the National Plan for Response to the Economic Consequences of the War, he said, were approved “by decree, without prior meetings.” The truth is that on March 16 the Government opened a round of talks with the groups in Congress to discuss these measures.

The still president of the Xunta was also annoyed for having found out “reading the BOE” of the content of the plan and for not finding in the wording the “commitment” that Sánchez insists that he acquired in La Palma to lower taxes. The declaration agreed upon at that meeting was expressed as follows: “The measures that will be incorporated into the plan will develop and intensify those already announced so far, such as tax rebates to cushion the impact of energy prices on the bills they pay. families and companies and others that may arise”. He adds that the plan “will be configured through the dialogue that the Government will develop with the autonomous communities, parliamentary forces and social agents.” However, Moncloa points out that he has not received the proposals from the Popular Group in Congress or from communities such as Galicia.

According to Feijóo, this affirmation “does not resist even a glance, even if it is careless, at the newspaper archives”. He went back to November, the month in which he sent a letter to Sánchez conveying his concern about inflation. He then cited his position at the Conference of Presidents in La Palma and the shock plan of the Galician Government, which he began to announce 15 days ago, but whose measures had not been activated at the start of this week. He ended by alluding to the decalogue that he presented in the Parliament of Galicia and in which he left a series of proposals addressed to the central government. “I am not willing to accept these kinds of statements from Moncloa,” he said.

Feijóo interprets that the Government is “the main interested” in that there is no consensus with the PP: “If you do not want to reach agreements with someone, what you have to do is not consult them, publish your decision in the Bulletin [Oficial del Estado] and blame you for not having agreed with you when you refused to agree with them”. If now the plan is processed by the long way, which allows amendments to be made, the future leader of the PP assures that they can “talk”, but otherwise he will interpret that it is an “invitation not to be able to support a government who doesn’t want to be supported.”