Making the rich pay: Spain on the wrong track?

The cabinet of Spain's left-wing government on Tuesday adopted a draft budget which foresees a sharp increase in public spending and tax hikes for large corporations and the rich. Commentators discuss whether this is the right way to cushion the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

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El Mundo (ES) /

We'll pay a high price for this

The whole country will pay for this left-wing populism, warns El Mundo:

“Spain will be the only country in Europe to pursue a policy of tax hikes in the midst of the crisis. The hackneyed argument that the tax increase will only affect the rich is unsustainable: the destructive impact on growth and jobs will be felt by the majory of citizens, but the government seems to be focused on protecting public employees with a payrise that reeks of election campaign politics. It's no use promising a ten percent increase in social and healthcare spending if the private sector that is supposed to pay for this collapses and the creditors start warning that the debt has reached unsustainable levels. But this is the high price that is paid when populism is allowed to dominate.”

El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

The millionaires can afford it

Making top earners pay more taxes is the right strategy in the crisis, argues El Periódico de Catalunya:

“Without this step the increase in public spending would not be possible. ... In these circumstances tax increases are not unreasonable considering that when it comes to income, property and corporate tax only a few truly rich people are affected. It is they who must now show solidarity. And those who earn more than 300,000 euros a year or whose assets exceed ten million euros can hardly be classified as belonging to the middle class. Other taxes such as those on sugary beverages, plastic packaging or diesel are in the global interest as green taxation measures.”