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Raising high earner income taxes: 2019 budget presented

Prior to spending plan being put forth, PSC criticizes timing in hemicycle

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27 February 2019 08:00 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan government has proposed raising income tax on some higher earners in exchange for support from other parliamentary groups for its 2019 budget.

In parliament on Wednesday, finance minister and vice president Pere Aragonès suggested applying a 25% tax rate on those who earn over 120,000 euros a year, rather than the 175,000 limit now.

Arguing the tax hike would bring in additional revenue of 16.3 million euros, Aragonès said: "We were asked to explore all the fiscal options, and that's what we have done."

The minister, who also suggested changes to succession tax and duties on legal documents, called the proposal an "opportunity" for the public that would return social spending to 2010 levels.

"We call for support to pass the budget," said Aragonès, who added that he did not understand those who wanted to "subordinate" the Catalan budget to that of the State, as doing so "would be to renounce self-government."

Among the other budgetary measures proposed by the government are changes to the tax that banks pay on mortgage loans, and raising revenue through combating fraud and forthcoming duties on climate emissions.

In all, the government calculates that its spending plan would allow it to raise some 530.3 million euros in tax revenue, providing an extra 305.9 million euros next year if the proposed budget passes in Parliament.

Prior to the budget being presented, the leader of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), Miquel Iceta, criticized that authorities had taken so long to put forth their plan. "I ask you to not help further discredit our institutions of self-government," said the MP in parliament. 

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  • Vice president and finance minister Pere Aragonès speaks in the Catalan parliament on February 27 2019 (by Guillem Roset)

  • Vice president and finance minister Pere Aragonès speaks in the Catalan parliament on February 27 2019 (by Guillem Roset)