“Act now” with a specific legislative instrument or entrust it to a future Budget Law. The Second Vice President and Minister of Labor is committed to the former, to approve a new tax figure that taxes the multimillion-dollar and record profits of the companies that are making a killing with the energy crisis. The socialist part of the Government, however, is committed to the second option, as evidenced in a debate attended by Vice President Yolanda Díaz and Minister María Jesús Montero this Wednesday in Seville.
Agreement to set an “adequate minimum wage” in the EU and strengthen collective bargaining
The head of the Treasury stated that “the decree laws cannot implement measures of this type of new fiscal figures, therefore the most appropriate vehicle must be found”, while the third vice president and minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, pointed out that the debate on this tax should be framed in the negotiation of the General State Budgets, a thesis shared by the head of the Treasury. “Each thing in its time,” says Ribera.
However, apart from the fact that the new budgets depend on many factors that are difficult to foresee so many months in advance and on negotiations with multiple parties, the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, gave this Thursday in Luxembourg one more argument in favor of her thesis and against the one defended by Teresa Ribera and María Jesús Montero: “It is not possible to create this tax through the General State Budget Law. And it is not possible, simply, because article 134, section seven, of the Spanish Constitution, prevents it. Therefore, with all my love for the Minister of Finance, I have to tell her that it is not possible to create this tax through the General Budget Law”.
doAnd what does that article 134, section 7 of the Constitution say?? “The Budget Law cannot create taxes. You can modify them when a substantive tax law so provides.”
“The main problem we have at the moment is inflation, which is impoverishing the whole world”, Díaz said in Luxembourg at the entrance of a council of those responsible for Labor and Social Policies of the EU (EPSCO): “The impact that it is having with the popular, working and middle classes is very strong. Therefore, we believe that we must act promptly to mitigate its negative effects and what we are saying is that we act now, that we legislate and put this mechanism into operation. It is urgent that we do so.”
The second vice president has insisted on the tax reform, flag of United We Can within the agreement of the coalition government: “We have spent many months, almost since the beginning of the legislature, with the tax debate that is always moving away. But in this case I do want to clear up the unknown. It is not possible to create this tax through the General State Budget Law, by pure constitutional mandate. We are right and we must legislate immediately to create this tax figure, which serves to compensate for the way out of this crisis. The debate is how we get out of this crisis, who pays and who contributes more. And it seems to me that, in this case, the constitutional mandate must become a reality. Therefore, I am sorry to say to my dear María Jesús [Montero] that it is not possible to do it through the General State Budget Law”.
Minimum wages in the EU
The Second Vice President and Minister of Labor is attending an EU council in Luxembourg in which, among other issues, final approval will be given to the minimum wage directive, after the recent agreement with the negotiators of the European Parliament. The directive establishes “adequate wages” in the EU and calls for stronger collective bargaining.
“If we looked back, barely five years ago, perhaps we would not have thought that on a day like today we would see the approval of a directive that was going to be so important for European workers”, said Díaz: “If there is a tool that serves to combat working poverty and pay inequalities between men and women is precisely the minimum wages”.
Yolanda Díaz has also referred to the report on Spain prepared by the European Commission within the European Semester –the EU’s economic governance mechanism–, in which the labor reform recently approved in Spain was valued: “We are very satisfied with the recognition in the country report, for part of the reduction of unemployment and for the aspect of stability. It has been worth it and in a few very short months the reform is unfolding many positive effects on the working population of our country, and the fact that they recognize us in the country report I think is very important”.