The deputy mayor of Madrid, Begoña Villacís, and the first deputy mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, have shown today their willingness to maintain a relationship of “cooperation and competition”, although they have highlighted their differences in taxation. Collboni and Villacís have participated this Saturday in the XXVI Meeting of Economy of s’Agaró, where in a debate moderated by journalist Susanna Griso they have set out the policies promoted by the city councils of the two capitals and have made clear their divergences in tax matters.
The leader of Ciutadans, number two of the PP mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida, began her speech by praising the benefits of creating synergies between Barcelona -with 1.6 million inhabitants- and Madrid -with 3, 2 million-, as this collaboration makes the two cities more competitive globally.
Collboni has found that the two cities have a “normal relationship” again and that both “go in the same tandem cycling together”, although in some subjects the first position will have Barcelona and, in others, Madrid. “But both pedaling in the same direction. We must have a cooperative and competitive relation, which must benefit to the set of the country” , said Collboni, who then went on the attack by putting on the table the issue of ‘fiscal dumping’.
Without wanting to enter a “tax war”, he said, the politician of the PSC, party that governs Barcelona together with the commons of the mayor Ada Colau, has said that Madrid “must lower the taxes even more because they are higher than in Barcelona “. And he has put 2020 figures on the table to justify his position.
According to Collboni, in Madrid the local tax revenue per inhabitant amounts to 1,100 euros per year, for the 905 euros in Barcelona. “Nearly 200 euros in taxes are paid by the residents of Madrid more than Barcelona,” he stressed. to state that the investment expenditure per inhabitant in Barcelona is 1,796 euros and in Madrid, 1,470 euros.
“We collect less, but we invest more per neighbor,” said the Barcelona politician, who explained that this is possible because the accounts of Barcelona City Council are sanitized and have a lower debt, namely 477 euros per inhabitant, about 200 euros less than Madrid. “We have less fiscal pressure and more investment, and this is attributable to social democratic policies,” he remarked.
Begoña Villacís questioned the data provided by Collboni and recalled that the current government of Madrid, a defender of liberal policies, has eliminated bureaucracy and applied a general reduction in taxes, with a cumulative saving, only this legislature, of 500 million euros.
“More taxes were paid with (Manuela) Carmena”, said the Madrid leader, who stated that she respects the Social Democratic legacy of Barcelona, although this city made 2020 “one of the most important tax increases to be they have done “. Villacís recalled that the first time he came to Barcelona he felt” like Alfredo Landa, overwhelmed by a city that was Europe coming from a more provincial Madrid “. “I am in love with Barcelona, it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world,” he said.