On the minister’s intentions

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We began the year with a triple announcement from Minister MarÃa Jesús Montero. The first, the creation of a committee of experts to advise on the comprehensive reform of the Spanish tax system. We need it; and a lot. We have spent decades of patches and fixes, without going deep, without adapting the system to the new globalized and digital reality, with important environmental challenges; and without taking into account much of the recommendations that come to us from the academy and professionals in the field. It is true that we have a 2014 report that we should take advantage of. But it is also true that, on the fiscal front, a lot has happened in these years. That is why it seems right to me to create a new committee which, in any case, will find many valid elements in the report of the previous one.

The second, and in line with what was announced by Vice President Calvià ± o, confirms the will to approve the reform of autonomous financing in 2021: something that is also urgent and necessary. But, in this case, I think we do not need additional commissions or reports. The Commission constituted in 2017 and the subsequent work carried out in the census of the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council provide sufficient technical staff. The challenge is political. There are half a dozen tough questions that technicians can’t solve. Undoubtedly, a pact with the Popular Party would help a lot and that the socioeconomic agents on a Spanish scale contributed to the discussion escaping from the disastrous discourse of comparative regional grievance. You have to be open-minded and judge the solutions from a global perspective and not from part. Because the reality is that not all the Autonomous Communities are in the same situation and not all of them should expect to win the same.

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Third and last: the intensification of the fight against tax fraud in Spain. The new law on prevention and anti-fraud measures is a potentially very useful tool to tackle one of the worst social scourges that we suffer. But it would be very important for the law to be fed by an intense previous work of analysis of the problem and discussion of solutions. The creation of a working group within the Institute of Fiscal Studies with a vocation for permanence could fill a gap that, surprisingly, no one before has served with sufficient resources. Again, this would be a valuable legacy from the minister.

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