Solbes announces that the 400 euros tax cut will be included in the first ministerial meeting
The Spanish Vice-president, Pedro Solbes, confirmed in an interview with CADENASER this morning that the electoral promise to give back 400 euros in tax rebates will be approved at the first ministerial meeting of the new government. He said that the government’s intention was to approve this measure as quickly as possible and make it effective retrospectively from the 1st January this year so that the tax rebate would be applicable for the whole of 2008. Solbes also added that that tax payers would notice the effect on their monthly salary immediately and as a consequence be better off.
Economic “slowdown”, not “crisis”
Solbe, also the Minister for the Economy, insisted that Spain was not facing an economic crisis but that it was experiencing an economic slowdown. He said that unemployment would rise less this year, especially if the rate of immigration decreases compared to numbers for the last few years.
He said that if economic growth stayed at around 3% then more than a million and a half jobs would be created and the unemployment rate would go down to below 8%. Although he added that it was the government’s intention to create two million new jobs.
With respect to negotiations taking place between PSOE and other political parties Solbes said that his party would be happy to work with all groups who were prepared to support the PSOE in its next legislature. Speaking about PSOE’s relations with the PP, he said that the government had always held out an olive branch to Rajoy and would continue doing so in the future.
As far as extending the time for the payment of mortgages, one of PSOE’s key electoral campaign issues, Solbes said that at present his department was working on the definition of families with ‘special difficulties’.
He stressed that this was also one of the government’s priorities. He said that first an agreement with the financial sector and notaries was required before this issue could be resolved. However, he pointed out that the beneficiaries of this measure would not incur any extra costs.
The Vice-president also said that the new government, led by PSOE, would work on other social issues such as helping women get into the labour market.
As far as the decision by the EU tribunal which has declared that the government placed illegal conditions which prevented the German energy giant E.ON from getting a foothold in Spain, Solbes said that it hadn’t been the government’s intention to exclude this company but that the government also had to protect Spain’s strategic rights.
He added that it was a complex issue because at present there was no liberalization regarding the exchange of energy between EU countries.
Finally, Solbes commented on the issue of property prices. He said that it was the government’s long term objective to see property prices rise in line with inflation.