Taxes on banks and electricity companies distance the income agreement and anticipate a distribution of the cost of inflation

The rent pact was initially considered as the main solution to the economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the evolution of energy prices and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At first, from La Moncloa appealed to the need to reach a great agreement between the Government, the unions and the employers’ associations that pointed to a “wage restraint“, which caused some important clashes between the PSOE and United We Can.

From the confederal space, they disagreed with this approach and refused to move away from the roadmap that had been designed to gradually raise the minimum wage and to update pensions according to the CPI. “The fault of the inflation is not of the wages“, they continually repeated from United We Can to try to combat this framework of salary moderation.

Today, the approach seems completely different. The dialogue table between employers and unions to reach an income pact (a term that union organizations reject from the outset) is completely deactivated and there was never a real possibility of reaching agreements; and within the Executive it seems to have been imposed that the solution to the economic situation and inflation is to distribute its costs and that those who have more contribute more.

It is not just a speech (which the socialist part of the Government also shares in public), but the first measures of the General Budgets for 2023 and the restart of the political course that will take place after the summer break are precisely two taxes that seek tax the profits of those companies that have not seen their business margins affected by rising inflation.

Taxes on financial entities and large electricity companies (which will begin to be processed in September in the Congress of Deputies) are, in the words of the PSOE spokesman in the Lower House, patxi lopez“an equitable and just distribution of the burdens, costs and sacrifices of the crisis”.

The Executive has focused on these two specific sectors because they are the ones that maintain and even see their profits increase in a context in which practically the rest of the sectors (and above all the citizens) lose purchasing power.

At first, the income pact that was put on the table by the Government was reminiscent of the so-called La Moncloa Pacts, by which workers and citizens suffered a decade of loss of purchasing power in full exit from Francoism and beginning of the transition.

However, after the failure of the dialogue table among social agents, recent months seem to have cleared the landscape left by inflation and the economic situation more clearly: while the majority of the population and the business fabric (supported mainly by small and medium-sized companies) lose purchasing power and see With their profits reduced, large companies in sectors such as electricity and finance see their business margins increase.

It is not that the income pact that was defended from the socialist part of the Government has disappeared, but that both in the story offered and in the measures deployed, business profits, business margins and, in general, the tax justicehave been installed as central themes in it.

“While some companies and people suffer the consequences of the crisis, others are obtaining extraordinary benefits, and this proposal is for them to contribute part of those benefits in common solidarity. It is about moving towards an income pact, and it is solidarity that sustains the pact. An element of this pact is taxation,” Patxi López defended this Thursday.

Between 2023 and 2024, the two taxes are expected to raise 7,000 million euros. In addition to these two taxes, in the negotiation of the General State Budgets for 2023, the redefinition of the bases of the Corporation Tax will be on the table to improve its collection capacity.

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