We can tighten up the government partner again so that President Pedro Sánchez’s recent announcements on tax issues have a real impact on citizens. The party’s general secretary and social rights minister, Ione Belarra, announced on Tuesday that her formation, the PSOE, would propose the creation of a new tax crime to punish those energy companies and big business that pass taxes on to consumers.
During the summer courses at the Complutense University in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Belarra has asked the executive for a “hard hand” against companies that “abuse and attack the public interest” and has reaffirmed Podemos’ commitment to budgets that make the turn solidify outlined by the President last week in the State of the Union debate.
In addition to honoring energy companies on anti-crisis measures agreed in the last decree, the chief executive announced during his speech in the House of Representatives seven days ago that he would impose another “temporary and extraordinary” on the big banks. Belarra’s party now wants to prevent companies from passing on the cost of these taxes to customers, which would limit the measure’s impact in the context of runaway inflation (10.2% in June).
“The message was clear. At this time when we have big energy companies threatening the citizens and the government and telling us that if there is a tax on energy companies, it will be passed on to the consumers, the government cannot waver,” stressed the Minister for social rights during his conference this Tuesday. “We need a strong hand against those who abuse and attack the common good and for this reason we will propose to our government partner to create a new tax crime because of the impact of taxes, which will also have an aggravating circumstance in the present case from companies strategic sectors,” announced Belarra.
The Podemos leader, who has acknowledged last week’s debate “proved” a change of direction in government, is asking for “determination” from the executive branch of which she sits. A few minutes later, the speaker of the parliament, Pablo Echenique, disseminated the initiative in a much more prosaic manner in social networks: “If, faced with a tax hike for big energy companies and banks, their directors decide to pass on the price hike, go to jail.”
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Belarra, in her conference co-held with political scientist and University of Westminster (UK) professor Chantal Mouffe, has insisted that the next general government budgets must be “the cotton test”, certifying that the government will meet “the Rhythm of regained social progress”, an expression that has been repeated in recent weeks. “There can be no progressive budgets unless we cap the price of fuel, without real family protections that extend paternity and maternity leave to six months, without a universal education income for families with dependent children, and without an investment, not in military spending, but in dependency and reconciliation of at least 800 million,” stressed the minister during her speech. The discussion about increasing defense spending sparked the latest crisis in the coalition, which is still waiting for the monitoring table meeting demanded by Vice President Yolanda Díaz two weeks ago, which has not yet been finalised.