Friday, September 30

Sánchez asks for “fiscal responsibility” from the communities that lower taxes while asking the Government for resources

“Social justice will come hand in hand with fiscal justice.” It has been the new motto of Pedro Sánchez in the press conference that he has offered in New York, where he is this week on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly. In the midst of the battle for the elimination of the wealth tax in Andalusia, and to which Murcia has joined, the PSOE has taken a turn by promoting a tax on large fortunes that it had ruled out until recently. The reason? “Build greater tax justice. We need a fairer distribution of the consequences of this war. We need everyone to contribute according to their resources”, has been the response of the president, who recognized that “the economic context has changed”. The socialist has taken the opportunity to request “fiscal responsibility” from the autonomous communities, which he has criticized for lowering taxes with “one hand” while “with the other” they ask for “more resources” from the central government.

The call for “fiscal co-responsibility”, which is addressed fundamentally to the PP but also to the PNV for the intention of lowering personal income tax in the Basque Country, has also been justified in the “selective” tax cuts that the Executive is carrying out, as the reduction of VAT on electricity or gas, which has ensured that they help the “middle and working class”. Likewise, he has made reference to “European solidarity” with the funds that will mean an injection of 140,000 million euros to “modernize Spain”.

Sánchez has not entered, as socialist spokesmen have insistently done in recent days, in the argument that the elimination of the wealth tax benefits a privileged minority, but he has paraphrased the former Prime Minister of Sweden, Olof Palme, who in a conversation with Ronald Reagan in which he asked him if he wanted to “end the rich” told him that his “goal was to end inequality, not wealth.”

Reducing inequality and strengthening the welfare state to have good public services such as health, education or dependency should be, in Sánchez’s opinion, the objectives of society. “Each one has the duty to contribute their efforts to finance this welfare state. It is not just a duty, it is an opportunity”, expressed the president, who maintains that “all of society benefits” from greater cohesion. Despite that speech, the socialist leader has avoided giving details about the new tax on the rich, which the head of the Treasury, María Jesús Montero, has said will be temporary and effective from January 1, 2023. He has not wanted to enter either in the discrepancies that United We Can have already shown when proposing that it be permanent.

“No great heritage is going to leave Madrid for another place”

“We are going to give this debate a space,” he said about the underlying issue that is, for him, the need to increase the tax burden of those who benefited from the crisis or those who have more to swell the welfare state. “Fiscal justice to guarantee social justice”, summed up the Spanish president, who said that the administrations have to “be fiscally responsible and not enter into a downward competition”.

This downward tax competition, he assured, “benefits the most powerful territory due to the capital effect, which is Madrid.” “No person with great assets is going to change their tax residence from Madrid to another place. He is giving arguments to a territory that, due to its power, justifies the attraction of these assets”, he explained.

“The concern behind Putin’s words is there”

Sánchez had remained practically oblivious to the national controversies during his stay in New York, where he has had a long agenda with bilateral relations with leaders of other countries and also an agenda within the framework of the multilateral organization. One of those issues was at the beginning of the week the criticism of the president of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, who questioned Moncloa’s strategy to confront Feijóo and the alliance policy of the coalition. In the press conference, Sánchez has avoided the matter. “I became a member of the Socialist Party in 1992, a year before Felipe González’s victory. After 30 years of militancy, I will tell you that I have rarely seen as much unity as the one the PSOE has now”, responded the secretary general of the PSOE, who took advantage of the meeting of the presidium of the Socialist International in New York to formally announce his intention to preside over that organization from November. “In this campaign I will not use the car,” he joked in reference to the primaries after being removed from the leadership.

The UN General Assembly has coincided in time with the turn that Vladimir Putin has given to the war in Ukraine with the announcement of the “partial mobilization” of the Russians and the nuclear threat. “We entered a different phase, more critical. The aggressor is realizing that he is not fulfilling his war objective. He is not winning the war”, he said in his initial speech.

“It is important to appeal to prudence, not to contribute to a verbal escalation,” added Sánchez, who considers that this assumption could be used by Putin. “The concern after his words is there”, he has acknowledged about the threat of a nuclear attack. “What is important is the unity of the international community as a whole in solidarity with an attacked people,” said Sánchez, who described the “illegal referendums” announced in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson as a “masquerade”. “The seriousness is maximum because it is a permanent member of the Security Council that is alternating the international order based on rules,” said Sánchez, who has referred to respect for national sovereignty and the possibility of the peoples to decide what they want to be in the future.

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