The ERC pact with the Government to support the budgets , which the legislature practically assures the Executive of Pedro Sánchez, did not come for free, as Gabriel Rufián, the spokesman for the Catalan party in Congress, recalled.
In addition to including direct investments and capital transfers for some 2,300 million euros, it includes a commitment to a tax reform to harmonize regional taxes – inheritance, donations, property transfer tax and wealth tax – so that communities cannot raise them or lower them beyond a limit, which will force Madrid to raise its taxes.
Rufián put his finger in that wound – “We want to end the dumpingde facto prosecutor and with the tax haven set up by the right in the Community of Madrid “-, knowing that it would unleash the furious response of the Madrid president -“
I will be the worst nightmare of anyone who touches the pocket of the Madrid taxpayer to pay for the party and the corruption of the independence movement ”, he blurted out this Wednesday – and that he was waving a hornet’s nest with many interested parties and many loaded with thick words.
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has answered from Italy to the Madrid president, defending the need to work for “fiscal harmonization” to end the “problem” of inequality between territories and reminding Ayuso that even within the PP they agree with this, although the moment none has done it, at least in the last hours.
“There are declarations of regional presidents of the PP who are aware that we have problems in our tax system.
If they speak with leaders of the PP they will tell them that the problem of fiscal harmonization must be solved ”, he stressed. After defending that the reform has no ideological motivations, he pointed out that “this fiscal harmonization also has to occur in certain taxes in our country if we want to guarantee something on which I am convinced that everyone can agree,
The Castilian president of La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, has also come to the fore. Especially critical of the central government on some occasions, this time he aligns himself with the fiscal harmonization proposal, which had been in the Government’s drawer for some time, despite Rufián announcing it as the conquest of Esquerra.
For Page, a fiscal harmonization is necessary that “corrects the excesses, the exploitation and the fiscal traps” and that the norm that the Government proposes does not go against anybody, but rather aims that there are “no fiscal wars” between the communities.
“The autonomic state has not been invented so that the autonomies we make fiscal traps between each other, to see who catches more taxpayers. There cannot be a Liechtenstein in the middle of the country ”, he said, clearly referring to Madrid. It understands that “taxation has to be an essential part of the concept of nation and homeland”,leitmotiv ”.
In a message on Twitter, the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno , has intervened in the controversy .
“Trying to prevent the CC AA from lowering taxes is the penultimate requirement of ERC … and the Government of Spain has accepted. We consider it an attack on autonomy and on the Andalusian model that works: lowering taxes raise income ”, the Andalusian president wrote.
For his part, the president of Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara , has preferred not to get to the heart of the matter ―whether or not Madrid does unfair competition to the rest of the communities―, but has criticized Rufián’s words, which in his opinion enter “ within the terrain of provocation ”.
Of course, the acting vice president of the Catalan Government and ERC coordinator, Pere Aragonés , has aligned himself with Rufián, betting on putting an end to “unfair competition” and the “privileges” of Madrid in tax matters, which he has called “ fiscal dumping. ”And“ Spanish nationalist and neoliberal model ”.
“There are territories that make unfair competition from the fiscal point of view, benefiting from the location in the capital of the State of most of the State civil servants and the large companies of the Ibex-35”, he stated, for which he assures that it will work to “break that diabolical dynamic” that supposes an “absolutely discriminatory situation” that “not only Catalonia suffers”.
The leader of Ciudadanos, Inés Arrimadas , has spoken of “humiliation” to the Government by the independentistas and has regretted that the Government accepts that ERC tells Madrid “what it has to do with taxes” in exchange for its support for the budgets.
Nationalism says “no one tells us what we have to do in Catalonia, but from Catalonia we tell Madrid what they have to do with taxes”, he has ironized, although he trusts that “more and more people in Spain are opening their eyes ”.
Although ERC takes its chest out of fiscal harmonization, the PP has focused on the argument that the tax reform is not the work of the independence group, but of the PSOE.
The Madrid Minister of Finance, Javier Fernández-Lasquetty, understands that the PSOE is the party that wants to “fry the Madrilenians with taxes”, as it has been announcing it for two years.
Faced with the accusations of tax dumping, Lasquetty rejects this argument and adds that “it has the same rules as the other autonomous communities, with the difference that Madrid has been lowering all taxes for 16 years and not raising any.”
He also criticizes that the socialists speak of the “wealth tax but the one they are really going against is inheritance tax”, and has given an example: if a Madrid native inherits a 160,000-euro flat from his parents, he pays inheritance tax 22 euros, while in Catalonia, Asturias or Valencia would pay 2,200 euros, “a hundred times more.”
For Lasquetty, the Government’s intentions represent a “fiscal aggression” against the people of Madrid.
On the part of the Government, it has been the first vice president, Carmen Calvo , who has defended the harmonization to avoid a fiscal inequality “that poses disloyalty between the territories.”
“For a long time the Minister of Finance [María Jesús Montero] spoke of situations of symmetry that did not mean loyalty to the State or equality,” she said and defended the political autonomy of the territories, but also equal opportunities .
Also from within the Madrid government, its vice president, Ignacio Aguado , from Ciudadanos, has rejected ERC’s arguments and has urged the Catalan group and the PSOE to “copy” Madrid’s fiscal policy and eliminate the “fiscal sabers” that “suffocate” to the citizens of Catalonia.
He has rejected the accusations of tax dumping, explaining that of the more than 80,000 million that the community of Madrid collects per year, more than 60,000 go to the rest of the country.
“We are the most supportive community and we do it willingly,” he said, which is why he understands that the “obsession of ERC with the Madrid tax system is” more ideological than otherwise. “The enemy of Catalonia is not in Madrid, they have it at home and it is separatism,” he has settled.