Sunday, December 10

PP and Vox reject taxes on electricity companies and banks in Congress

The new taxes for electricity companies and banks pass their first parliamentary procedure. The Congress has debated this Tuesday the taking into consideration of the norm, registered by the groups of the PSOE and United We Can. The Executive has secured the support of its partners for the bill to be debated in the Lower House, which may entail modifications with respect to the original text, registered last July. The right-wing bench has positioned itself against it, with PP, Vox and Ciudadanos criticizing a measure that they consider “irrational and tricky.”

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced during the last debate of the State of the Nation, in June, the formalization of an extraordinary tax on the benefits of more than electricity and banking obtain due to inflation and the rise in interest rates . The objective is to raise 7,000 million euros in two years of validity. The rule states that energy companies will have to pay 1.2% of their income and banks 4.8% of interest and commissions.

The Executive decided to opt for the proposal of law route to process this rule. This tax is recorded, therefore, by the parliamentary groups that support the Government. In this way, the procedures prior to the arrival of the text to the Lower House are lightened, with the ultimate goal of definitive approval before the end of the year and can be applied to the results of these companies for the current year. It will be charged in 2023 and 2024.

The right has presented its frontal opposition to the measure, despite the fact that Tuesday’s vote was based solely on whether or not Congress debated the new tax. “The PSOE has embarked on a journey to nowhere, to fiscal irrationality,” said Mario Garcés, a PP deputy. “The only benefit that fell from the sky is the 22,000 million euros that have fallen to you”, he pointed out in reference to the increase in collection that the public coffers are having compared to last year due to the increase in consumption, the improvement in activity economy and, especially, inflation. The aid packages announced by the Government against the rise in inflation represent a cost of 15,000 million. “They would do well to advance the elections and put an end to this nightmare”, he emphasized at the end of his intervention.

Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, parliamentary spokesman for Vox, has defended, along the same lines, the rejection of taking this measure into consideration. “He re-imposes the electoral interest together with his Marxist partners”, he started his intervention. According to the representative of the extreme right, the proposal “plans on the unconstitutional, damages the image of Spain and compromises investment and employment.” “It is a tricky process to avoid public consultation”, he stressed. María Martínez, from Ciudadanos, has assured that these taxes suffer from “sectarianism” and that they should “have been calculated on the benefits.” “We are not going to collaborate on this,” she has settled.

For its part, the Government has guaranteed the support of its partners to continue the process. ERC, PNV, EH Bildu, Más País or BNG have shown their vote in favor of the measure being debated. Of course, several of these partners have warned the Government that the measure should be “permanent” and not temporary, as it appears in its current process. “It is positive but it is still a patch,” defended the Republican deputy Joan Margall. “It is good that the initiative goes ahead but it is late,” he emphasized.

In addition, the Basque groups have indicated that the division of powers of this measure should be addressed in its processing, since they consider that the concerts in Euskadi and Navarra have not been taken into account. “We are not going to question the substance of both benefits, but the way in which it has been developed. There are certain technical problems that have to be solved”, pointed out Idoia Sagastizabal, deputy of the PNV. “The form chosen is peculiar and doubts arise”, she pointed out about the tax model that the Government has chosen.

Big companies

With regard to energy (electricity, gas and oil), the tax will be applied to the net amount of the turnover, the income of the companies. Those that do not reach 1,000 million euros and those that, having an energy business, do not reach 50% of their turnover, will be exempt.

On the part of the banks, what is taxed is the sum of the net interest (interest collected minus that paid) and the net commissions (commissions collected minus those paid). Banks that exceed 800 million euros in this turnover will have to comply with the tax. This item is taken as a reference because of its link to the daily activity of the bank and because in the financial sector there is no net amount of turnover, as there is in the energy sector.

These taxes will be applied to the results of 2022 and 2023, although they will be collected in the following year. Specifically, it has been set to be paid in September 2023 and 2024 in reference to previous years. This date has been set in order to have the number of closed accounts, which are usually published definitively in the first half of the year. However, a payment on account of 50% will be paid in February based on the estimate that these groups make of their income for the previous year. As already mentioned, 7,000 million revenues are expected in two years.