This autumn is loaded with negotiations in the labor field, from the increase in the minimum interprofessional wage to the renewal of the ERTE and the resumption of the dialogue on the labor and pension reform. Almost nothing. But the CCOO also highlights the relevance of another negotiation that will define the country’s policies next year: the General State Budgets. The union leader, Unai Sordo, has called on the Government to be “brave” to play already in 2022 the first pieces of the tax reform, which will allow Spain to collect more taxes (to get closer to the EU average) and to go consolidating the State accounts that allow to pay for public policies.
The low collection of VAT, companies and green taxes hamper Spain’s objective of reaching the European tax burden
Deaf is aware that the tax debate is complex. “It is going to mount the one of God”, says before the possibility of raising what some actors pay to the Tax Agency, such as large companies.
But, before a political right that has led the discourse on taxes, with continuous calls for cuts, the CCOO secretary general calls on the left to get on the battle of the story: to do “pedagogy.”
Tax education offensive
To start “an offensive of tax education in Spain” to explain what is paid in Spain compared to other countries, who pays more and less taxes and what public policies are achieved thanks to the contribution to the treasury. “Because others are doing it,” warns the union leader.
In a context of pandemic in which the State has rescued companies and workers through an “enormous” amount of public funds through ERTEs, self-employed benefits and other measures, Unai Sordo considers that it is the “ideal moment” to address this debate and begin to review fiscal policy.
Not only in terms of tax increases, which also and with an eye on the minimum rate of companies that large companies actually pay, but also consider the possibility of tax decreases in some cases. “It would be possible, temporarily or more permanently, to act on some reduced or super-reduced VAT rates with matters as sensitive as supplies at home. It would be an exercise in balance and to demonstrate that things can be done differently”, aim.
Sordo believes that the economic situation is also appropriate, in a context of economic recovery, still supported in the coming years by several billions of European funds. “It would be a profound mistake not to,” he says.
The CCOO leader warns of the “risk” of not initiating the tax reform and “settling” with the arrival of money from the EU, which may place Spain in a more complex situation in the future. “So what will the government do? Cuts?” When it does not receive budget support from Europe and debt and deficit commitments begin to be resumed after the exceptionality of the pandemic. “It is time to be brave with the tax reform,” he defends.