Podemos: Local government should seek to improve social welfare, not create surpluses

Mayoral candidate Juan López has questioned the benefits of the suspension of taxes and extension of discounts.

Photo: Xàbia AL DÍA

Friday 11th November 2022 · Mike Smith
Source: Podemos Press Release

In a press release issued by the Xàbia branch of PODEMOS, mayoral candidate Juan López has questioned the benefits of the recent announcement that the local council has proposed by suspend the payment of the rubbish tax and extend the 17% discount on IBI payments.

Whilst he admits that the party is happy about the economic relief that these measures will provide for families and businesses in Xàbia, he adds that they still feel that the lowering of the property tax would benefit only those who have more rather than those who are struggling with the economic turmoil caused by rising prices in the cost of living, an opinion that they made a year ago.

They said that, at the very least, the local government could have differentiated between homes and tourist rental properties but claim that this would mean more administrative work for the local council that it either doesn’t want to do or maybe cannot do, given the shortage of personnel that the town hall suffers at the moment.

They also question the savings for those who have children in the municipal nursery, asking what about those who could not get a place and will have to continue to pay for private nursery school at the same price as before before the municipal option has limited spaces.

The statement then comes to the “crux of the matter” and accuses the local government of selling what is its inability to execute budgets as having “a good level of savings”, adding that they don’t believe the claim made in the press conference to announce the measures that there would be no cuts to budgets or services.

Since 2017 we have suffered the inaction in the budget issue with extensions and more extensions, until in 2022, they get to work and draw up a new municipal budget. Are they telling us now that they have a 10 million euro excess? Obviously, if we do nothing, if we do not have enough staff to control the companies we have contracted for, if we do not invest in security (we do not increase the staffing levels), if we do not invest in mitigating climate change in our municipality, or energy poverty, or to promote technologies that favour these policies among the industrial sector of Jávea – there is not only 10 million euros left over, there are also managers. And this is what is permeating among citizens.

The statement said that the objective of a local government is not to make savings but to seek improved social welfare, making the services that it provides more efficient with funding based on progressiveness.

It continued that the local council has so much surplus [funding] because in the seven and a half years that the PSOE has governed alone, it has invested in any infrastructure for the future, such as the installation of solar panels on municipal buildings and plots, the creation of a biomass plant, providing the necessary infrastructure to attract qualified and stable employment. Several examples of measures, they say, that would have meant lasting economic relief for the people of Xàbia.

The Podemos statement concludes by claiming that the local government has managed to build this surplus because “it costs blood, sweat and tears” to renovate a playground and said that it has come from the pockets of the taxpayer with the minimum of effort, adding that the timing of the announcement of measures such as the suspension of rubbish tax and extension of the IBI discounts has not been random. “What better time than before an election!”

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