Tags: Spain | Taxes | Deficit | hikes

Spain Hikes Taxes After Deficit Bigger Than Expected

Friday, 30 Dec 2011 09:49 AM

Spain's new government said on Friday the public deficit for 2011 would come in at 8 percent of gross domestic product, well above a target of 6 percent, and announced income and property tax hikes and a civil servant wage freeze in response.

Spain has been under market scrutiny about its ability to control public finances, and Madrid has seen risk premiums soar to record highs on contagion fears as the eurozone debt crisis has spread.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria in the new centre-right government outlined public spending cuts worth 8.9 billion euros ($11.5 billion) to tackle the deficit.

"We're facing an extraordinary and unexpected situation, forcing us to take extraordinary and unexpected measures," Santamaria said.

While Italy's debt mountain has been the biggest concern in financial markets in recent months, Spain had been seen as faring somewhat better, although it too has been hit with high borrowing costs.

The previous Socialist government cut the budget shortfall from 11.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, and the conservatives must take up the baton and bring the deficit down to 4.4 percent in 2012 and 3 percent in 2013.

The conservatives, who swept to victory in November amid dissatisfaction over the Socialists' handling of the crisis, have pledged to turn the economy around while reforming a broken labor market and pulling the country out of a prolonged slump.

New Treasury Minister Cristobal Montoro announced tax hikes on Friday that will focus on the wealthy, raising around 6 billion euros.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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Spain's new government said on Friday the public deficit for 2011 would come in at 8 percent of gross domestic product, well above a target of 6 percent, and announced income and property tax hikes and a civil servant wage freeze in response. Spain has been under market...
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Friday, 30 Dec 2011 09:49 AM
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