After this year’s deep pothole, the government plans to start exiting the tunnel soon. According to the Budget Plan that he sent to Brussels on Thursday, public revenues will increase by 33,447 million in 2021, thanks to the intense rebound in GDP that is forecast for next year – although not enough to return to the pre-crisis situation – and, in to a lesser extent, to the introduction of new fiscal figures. Among them, an increase in VAT to 21% on sugary drinks, the introduction of the plastic tax, Google rates Y Tobin and the new regulation on tax fraud, for a total amount of 6,847 million euros.
The pandemic has forced the Government to postpone the “profound tax reform” that it planned to implement when it arrived in La Moncloa. But there will be fiscal adjustments next year, as the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, had already announced. These will provide income of 6,847 million in 2021 and 2,323 million in 2022, according to the Budget Plan that the Executive sent to Brussels this Thursday. If this figure is subtracted from the effect of the new law against tax fraud -which is expected to contribute about 828 million per year-, the impact of the new tax figures is around 6,000 million for 2021 and about 8,350 million in the group of the two years.
Next year both the new tax on certain digital services, better known as Google rate, such as the financial transaction tax or Tobin tax. Both have just received a final green light in the Senate and will begin operating in about three months. The Government estimates that with them it will collect about 1,800 million altogether.
The Budget Plan also includes an increase in green taxes. Several organizations, from the European Commission to the Bank of Spain or the OECD, have recommended touching these figures to finance part of the recovery. In Spain, the pressure of these taxes on GDP is lower than the EU average (1.8%, compared to 2.4%).
Specifically, the plan sent to Brussels plans to promote environmental taxation – without specifying how – to collect about 1,311 million in 2021. In terms of green taxes, the Budget Plan also contemplates the creation of a tax on single-use plastic containers, which has already passed the public information process after being approved last June by the Council of Ministers. The collection forecasts for this new figure are 491 million euros for 2021.
Another fiscal change that will see the light next year, according to the Government’s plans, is the increase in VAT on sugary and sweetened beverages, which will go from 10% to 21%. The measure was already contemplated in the coalition agreement and will provide income of 340 million in 2021 and 60 million in 2022. The Budget Plan also includes, without explaining them, an increase in direct taxes, predictably in personal income tax on high incomes and in companies, with an impact of 2,548 million in the next two years, and indirectly, with 1,724 million.
More public spending
Even so, these fiscal changes will not be the main responsible for the rebound in revenue expected for next year, estimated at 33,447 million euros. That figure, however, will drop as a percentage of GDP to 40.3%, compared to 41.7% this year due to the sharp drop in activity.
The Government, which on Thursday sent the Budget Plan on time but disrupting the usual budgetary liturgy – which provides that the accounts will be approved beforehand and then that Brussels will correct them – estimates for next year a GDP rebound of 7.2% after the collapse of 11.2% forecast for this year. This figure, which was presented last week in the update of the macro table, could, however, be pushed to higher levels thanks to European aid. The incorporation of more than 25,000 million of the first tranche of the reconstruction fund would bring the GDP up to 9.8% in 2021. Thanks to this extra money, next year will also be marked by an unprecedented rise in the spending ceiling , from almost 54% to 196,000 million euros. Debt, on the other hand, will begin to decline in 2021, reaching 117.4% of GDP compared to 118.8% in 2020.
On the expenditure side, the Government estimates that total public outlay will increase in 2021 by 2,419 million, although it will fall with respect to GDP from 53% to 48% in 2021 thanks to the improvement in activity. The Budget Plan also includes the impact of the gradual increase in paternity leave, which rises from 12 to 16 weeks, and the minimum vital income.