Bizkaia decides to orient its tax regulations towards sustainable development

The Diputación de Bizkaia believes that the next fiscal modifications should be aimed at collaborating with the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’, the SDGs, a list of goals that was defined by the UN in 2015 and that are part of the so-called Agenda 2030. Among them, issues such as the eradication of poverty, affordable energy and zero carbon emissions, gender equality , industrial innovation or reasonable economic growth. Thus, the deputy general, Unai Rementería, announced this Friday that the Regional Executive is taking the first steps to process a regulation, which is expected to be approved in May and that will serve as a framework for future tax reforms.

Rementeria recalled that the Basque Country has pending a reflection on the effects of the latest tax reforms, as well as the preparation of a proposal for modifications that must be discussed by the three councils and the Vitoria Executive. This process will be addressed throughout 2021, with the aim that the new measures can enter into force in January 2022.

Meanwhile, the regulatory framework prepared by the Biscayan Provincial Council, which Rementería described as pioneering Because no similar steps have been taken in any country, it conditions future changes to be adapted to those objectives set by the UN. More specifically, Bizkaia believes that special attention should be paid to the approval of fiscal measures that contribute to the demographic challenge due to the aging of the population; climate change together with the energy transition; and the development of economic activity “from the point of view of innovation”.

On this road, hehe Diputación de Bizkaia has had the collaboration of the Italian economist Mariana Mazzucato, Professor at the University College of London, who participated online yesterday in an act of presentation of this initiative. Mazzucato, whose work has been mainly devoted to highlighting the need for administrations to take a more active role in the economy, defends the need to use taxation as a strategic instrument. In this case, to encourage private companies and citizens adopt measures that contribute to achieving those objectives defined by the UN.

The economist was in favor of the existence of taxes that “penalize the use of fuels”, but warned that this cannot be an isolated measure but must be combined with other impulses. Specifically, with “the incentive of those ways that allow abandoning the use of fuels, for example.” In his opinion, it is a “duty of states to apply measures to guide the functioning of a society towards a sustainability strategy.”

Rementeria did not reveal for the moment what specific fiscal measures the Regional Treasury is going to propose to promote this orientation towards sustainable objectives, but hinted that there may be a “set of incentives that are directed at companies through Corporation Tax” . That is, a catalog of subsidies that companies would have access to if they make investments that contribute to achieving any of the goals that have been set.

Mariana Mazzucato was also in favor of adopting fiscal decisions that support long-term investments, compared to the current dynamics in which short-term speculative operations are gaining prominence. “We have to change the way we do capitalism,” said Mazzucato, who will be appointed president of a WHO council on economy and health.

Sustainable development goals

1 Eradicate poverty in all its forms around the world.

2 End hunger, achieve food security, and promote better nutrition and sustainable agriculture.

3 Ensure a healthy life and promote well-being for all at all ages.

4 Guarantee an inclusive and equitable quality education with equal opportunities.

5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

6 Sustainable management of water and sanitation.

7 Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.

8 Inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all.

9 Create resilient infrastructure and foster innovation.

10 Reduce inequalities between countries.

11 Make cities inclusive and sustainable.

12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production.

13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its effects.

14 Conserve the oceans, seas and marine resources.

15 Protect terrestrial ecosystems, forests and combat desertification.

16 Promote peaceful, inclusive and just societies.

17 Revive the global partnership for sustainable development.

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