Friday, August 12

The Government will prohibit energy companies and banks from applying the tax increase to customers

The Government intends to prevent energy companies and banks from passing on to the final customer the tax increase that the creation of two new taxes on their extraordinary profits will entail for them. The Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, announced this Thursday that the law that contemplates these taxes will include a prohibition on this practice taking place by companies and has charged the PP for proposing that there will be a rise in prices with these taxes.

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“We have contemplated that the transfer of the tax to the final price will be prohibited,” Montero assured in an interview on Cadena Ser. The minister has advanced that the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) will be provided with the necessary tools so that it can “monitor and apply sanctions” to the companies that pass on the tax to their clients. It is a measure similar to the one that exists in the reduction of 20 cents on a liter of gasoline, which is controlled by the CNMC in case the gas stations raise their margins.

Montero has charged against the PP for his criticism of these taxes and for suggesting that they are going to be transferred to the final customer. “These are justifications that the PP uses above all to not say whose side it is on,” the minister assured during the interview. The person in charge of the Spanish public accounts has defended that this argument is a “mantra” that, if followed, “we would not even have corporation tax or for companies”. “The PP does not say what country model it wants and Feijóo feels relieved that he did not have to go to the rostrum during the debate,” she emphasized.

The minister has denied her former party colleague Antonio Miguel Carmona, today vice president of Iberdrola Spain, who assured this Wednesday that the new tax will only affect gas and oil companies and not electricity companies. “Of course it affects them, we have said it from the first moment,” he said. Montero, in addition, has ridiculed the criticism by the banking employers against the tax due to an alleged legal insecurity. “You cannot understand why they are raising it if the details are not yet known,” he pointed out.

Montero has denied that there has been a shift to the left by the Government, as his partners have pointed out, or that United We Can measures have been “copied”, as the opposition has assured. “The Government is always quite recognizable, it directs its gaze at the majority of citizens, who are the ones who are suffering from the rise in prices”, he pointed out.

The minister acknowledges that a “complicated budget negotiation” is now being faced, both with United We Can and with the PNV or ERC, as has happened in the last two years. “And within the Government, not only with ministers from United We Can, but also socialists,” she pointed out, calling for “prioritizing” budgetary measures. She has ruled out, yes, that there will be problems with the increase in the budget for military spending. “We are going to agree because it is compatible with social spending,” Montero pointed out.

Montero has avoided specifying whether these budgets will include tax reform measures proposed by the experts in March. “It seems logical to me”, he has pointed out, that United We Can transfer the need to include these proposals and has indicated that “they will be addressed in the following budget laws”. He has not specified whether it will be in the 2023 accounts, a priori the last ones for this Government. “At this time what has been understood is that it was necessary to cause a tax reduction in fields such as electricity”, he pointed out.