Who really wins in the murky world of corporate tax cuts?

Updated

October 16, 2017 16:10:40

The race is on. With his usual flourish, US President Donald Trump rekindled the love with his Wall Street fans earlier this month with a bold proclamation — corporate taxes would be slashed as promised during his campaign a year ago.

The golden locked leader drew “very much a red line” under a 20 per cent top corporate tax rate from the current 35 per cent.

It wasn’t the first red line he’s drawn in recent months and, for budgetary reasons, this red line appears to have shifted from the 15 per cent promise he made while on the hustings.

The announcement sent our own federal pollies into a lather and this week the question again will be hammered out in Parliament as to whether our company tax rate should be cut from the current 30 per cent to 25 per cent.

If you believe the hype, without the proposed cut, Australia will become an economic backwater, capital will flood to rival economies with lower tax rates and any multinational looking to invest will simply look elsewhere.

If only it were that simple.

The problem is that comparing top line corporate tax rates is an exercise not so much in simplicity, but duplicity.

There are so many variations unique to each jurisdiction that comparing the statutory rate alone is all but meaningless.

Where do we sit in the corporate tax stakes?

If you believe the spin from some quarters, Australia charges like a wounded bull when it comes to corporate tax.

The statistics, however, tell a different story.

The US Government’s Congressional Budget Office has compiled this handy comparative study of global corporate tax rates.

What it reveals is that Australia is either the global Goldilocks of corporate tax (not too hot, not too cold) or extraordinarily generous to big business, depending on how you measure it.

While the study is current, the numbers have changed in recent years. Both Japan and Germany have lowered their top-line taxes to around the same level as ours.

But it remains a useful study if only because it highlights the differences in the way tax rates can be measured.

It may get all the headlines, and it will be the only measure batted out in Parliament this week, but the top-line tax rate is just one way of measuring corporate tax rates.

Because of various tax concessions or imposts in different countries, the average tax rate is often a better measure.

And for companies considering investment decisions, the best way to measure corporate tax is through comparing what’s known as effective tax rates.

Here is the real story. Our statutory rate may be 30 per cent, but even on that measure, we rank in the middle of the field.

Our average corporate tax rate, however, is just 17 per cent, and when it comes to effective corporate taxes, companies in Australia pay just 10.4 per cent.

The discrepancy relates to a range of things, including how quickly firms can write down or depreciate the value of their investments or where they have sourced their finance.

The hidden taxes

America’s headline rate may be 35 per cent. But, as you can see from the chart, the statutory tax rate is 39.1 per cent. That’s because American companies pay state taxes as well.

Then there are health costs, which aren’t included in that top-line figure.

It may be the richest nation on Earth, but America’s health system stinks.

So, companies wanting to hire good staff offer health insurance and medical benefits. It’s an attractive lure for employees who otherwise would have to sell the family home to pay for a brief stint in hospital.

In Australia, taxpayers and not corporations pick up the tab for the health system.

Australia’s hidden benefits

We have a unique — OK, New Zealand has it too — system of corporate tax that drastically lowers the amount of tax Australian investors pay.

It’s known as dividend imputation and it effectively lowers the company tax rate for local investors to almost zero.

Unlike other countries where companies pay tax and then shareholders pay tax on their dividends, Australia taxes just once.

Essentially, taxes paid by corporations are returned to shareholders via what’s known as franking credits, which are then used to reduce an individual’s tax bill.

But it’s a system that is limited to Australians. Offshore investors pay tax on their dividends as well.

For that reason, the benefits of any cut to the Australian corporate tax rate overwhelmingly will flow through to foreigners.

For Australians, it has almost no effect because cutting the company tax rate reduces the amount of franking credits they receive.

Will a lower statutory tax rate boost the economy?

The theory says yes and goes something like this: Less tax equals greater profits. And bigger profits means more money to invest, which should boost employment and help lift wages.

The trouble with theories is that they tend to not work as envisaged in the real world. And what we’ve seen in the past decade — with global interest rates cut to zero – doesn’t quite fit the model.

The idea behind those rate cuts, to zero and even into negative territory, was that corporations would borrow and invest, boost wages, fuel inflation and pick the global economy up off the mat.

Instead, most of the benefits of the tax cuts were passed directly onto shareholders who demanded bigger dividends in a world where there was no return on cash.

The investment dollars went into assets, such as shares and property, rather than production, as asset bubbles ballooned around the globe.

It’s highly likely the same thing will happen when corporate taxes are cut — the benefits will be distributed to shareholders rather than reinvested.

According to Treasury, the proposed Australian corporate tax cut should result in a 1.2 per cent lift in GDP over the long term.

But as the Grattan Institute’s John Daley and Brendan Coates point out, an increase in our economic activity doesn’t necessarily make Australians richer, particularly when the tax benefits flow disproportionately to foreigners.

Given those foreigners would have financed their Australian investments offshore, a large slice of the profits also would leave the country.

Even the Treasury concedes that our Gross National Income will rise by just 0.6 per cent in the long term.

The great multinational tax rort

Every couple of years, finance ministers and treasurers from the world’s 20 biggest economies get together and bemoan the fact that multi-nationals are ripping them off.

They commission studies from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to delve into the murky world of tax evasion and profit shifting.

When treasurer, Joe Hockey launched a stinging attack against multinationals when he hosted the G20 finance ministers here a few years back.

Tax avoidance was theft, he said. It was time to crack down.

As soon as they head home, however, they all begin jockeying to lower corporate taxes, often as a way to stop multi-nationals evading tax.

It’s an odd strategy. Charge less so you don’t lose as much through deceit.

As we’ve seen time and again, big corporations with the aid of the Big Four accounting firms, look for the lowest rate of tax globally, domicile themselves there, and shuffle their profits through those countries.

It’s not about investment and it certainly isn’t about creating jobs or growth.

Just last week, the Australian Tax Office estimated that last year alone, multinationals attempted to evade paying around $3.5 billion in tax, but the ATO managed to claw back around $1 billion through audits.

Still, we race to the bottom.

Topics:

business-economics-and-finance,

government-and-politics,

tax,

multinationals,

australia

First posted

October 16, 2017 07:20:31

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Gastonan cu e daño di Trinidad causa na Aruba a surpasa 500 mil florin

E derame na Trinidad algun luna pasa tabata tin su efecto pa Aruba. Rampenbureau tin tur cos di e daño traha y documenta, prepara pa asina entreg’e na e instancianan diplomatico cu ta Gobierno, den e caso aki, pa sigui su caminda. Rino Hermans di Rampenbureau a splica cu nan tin un bista parcial di kico ta e gastonan. No tin cu lubida cu a cera Parke Arikok pa motibonan di salud pa proteha hende. E gastonan ta drentando. Ta trahando e verslag y process verbaal ultimo y di esey ta bay cana su camindanan oficial y camindanan diplomatico pa cumpli cu e perdida cu Aruba a hiba den e derame di PetroTrin na April/Mei, caminda cu costa norte a sufri daño. Danki dios cu ta Costa norte y no ta costa sur, caminda nos turistanan ta frecuenta. E oilspil aki tin atencion di Rampenbureau. E biaha aki no tin garantia cu ta costa nort so lo bira victima, pa asina ta net dilanti pone boom. Ultimo biaha a uza Repsol pa trece boom na Aruba, pa proteha nos costa sur y nos beachnan. 

Compania na Trinidad

Segun Hermans, esaki a sosode den un otro bahia. Ta cauteloso pa menciona e bahia, pasobra e fuente di unda e lekage a bin, den concepto di Hermans te cu ayera tardi, ainda Trinidad mes no tabata sa di unda esaki tabata. Pesey nan no por raporta tampoco cerca Rampattack cuanto bari a bay perdi. Ta den un prome fase cu ta hopi dudoso kico ta e informacion concreto.

 

E costo

Garantisa, tur inzet, e costonan primario, cu ta materialnan, e hendenan cu a uza, e uurloonnan, tin den e caso aki Parke Nacional Arikok, tambe a cera pa tres siman, cu a perde entrada y tin e costonan secundario, cu mester a huur in hendenan pa haci trabao, pasobra Aruba a sigui draai. Te cu awor aki e ta pasa mey miyon ultimo biaha.

 

Documenta

Tur esaki ta wordo documenta y manda corte. Ta haci loke ta parti di Aruba y ta presente na gobierno. Gobierno den su parti tambe, cu ta forma parti di Reino, tambe tin cu present’e den Reino. Apesar cu Hulanda a duna su palabra ultimo biaha cu e lo sostene Aruba, Boneiro y Corsou den e caso aki cu Trinidad. Tin relacionnan diplomatico cu tin den Reino cu Trinidad. Rampenbureau ta haci e parti tecnico y e parti diplomatico y gubernamental, ta keda den man di Gobierno di Aruba y Reino. Asina cu ta asina leu, ta entrega e proces verbaal y rapport.

 

Duracion

Tin te cu fin di November pa loke ta Rampattack. Rampattack tambe ta wardando mas dato di laboratorionan pa confirma. Conociendo e pasado di oilspil, Aruba ta pa prome biaha ta bay haci un claim. Esakinan ta casonan cu ta dura basta largo. Pero e prome fase, cual ta e proces verbaal y e parti tecnico, Rampenbureau ta tira pa caba cun’e pa fin di November y sosteni door di Rampattack. Esey ta deseo di tur dos instancia, pa fin di November pa keda cla cu PetroTrin oilspil di Mei.

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En España sí se puede desheredar | Mi dinero

Existe la idea generalizada de la imposibilidad de que el causante en España no puede desheredar a sus legítimos (según establece el Código Civil) herederos, cuestión que es cierta en la mayoría de los supuestos comúnmente denominados habituales. No obstante, y como independencia de la idea generalizada, es posible llevarlo a cabo, siempre y cuando se den algunas de las causas previstas en el Código Civil, que afortunadamente para algunos ya han sido parcialmente desarrolladas por la jurisprudencia de nuestro más Alto Tribunal.

Antes de entrar en un análisis pormenorizado de las distintas posibilidades que nos brinda nuestro ordenamiento jurídico, debemos señalar que en el País Vasco ya es posible hacerlo sin necesidad de acudir a las causas tasadas, todo ello como consecuencia de la publicación el 3 de octubre de 2015 de la Ley del Derecho Civil Vasco, esto es, se da la oportunidad a los propietarios de los bienes a decidir sobre el destino de los mismos una vez fallezcan. Este cambio legislativo ha dado lugar a múltiples intentos de empadronamiento en alguna ciudad del País Vasco, con el fin único descrito anteriormente, evitar que los legítimos herederos, según el Código Civil, hereden los bienes objeto del caudal hereditario, lo que muestra la clara voluntariedad de muchos españoles de evitar las imposiciones sobre su patrimonio del legislador central y de este modo sentirse libres sobre el destino final de su patrimonio.

Sin embargo, la situación en el resto del territorio nacional es diametralmente opuesta, es decir, salvo que se den algunos de los condicionantes establecidos en el artículo 765 del Código Civil, en su redacción dada por la Ley 15/2015, de 2 de julio, de la jurisdicción voluntaria, además de las establecidas en el artículo 853 del mismo cuerpo legal. A modo de ejemplo y sin entrar en el detalle de las mismas, entre otras, son causas de desheredación en España, el abandono, maltrato psicológico o físico, haber sido condenado por los mismos, o por agresión sexual o física, por atentar contra la integridad moral, contra la libertad o contra el cónyuge de este o persona en análoga situación de afectividad.

Si bien, y dada la cercanía temporal entre la publicación de la Ley 15/2015 y la actualidad, no contamos con resoluciones de nuestro Tribunal Supremo al respecto, sin embargo, sí lo hacemos en relación con el artículo 853 del Código Civil. Concretamente es la sentencia de la Sala de lo Civil, de 3 de junio de 2014, donde el legislador se pone en este caso del lado del testador declarando como justa causa para desheredación el maltrato psicológico. Teniendo en cuenta este pronunciamiento del Tribunal Supremo, es posible que la tendencia actual en materia sucesoria sea progresivamente ir posicionándose del lado del causante, siempre y cuando además de darse las causas previstas por el ordenamiento jurídico, sea establecido en testamento.

La reciente modificación de la mano del ya conocido precepto del Código Civil abre la puerta a que los testadores decidan sobre su patrimonio, si bien por el momento de modo limitado, lo que además de generar un cambio importante en la clásica legislación española sobre sucesiones lo que permitirá el desarrollo de este área del derecho en dos sentidos; el primero de ellos parece claro que se podría desarrollar un claro nicho de negocio para los despachos profesionales y en segundo lugar, y valiéndose de lo acontecido en el País Vasco se reabrirá el debate sobre las posibilidades de desheredar, bien sea por los motivos tasados (los cuales previsiblemente se verán ampliados) o bien como ya sucede en muchos países de nuestro entorno únicamente derivado de la única y libre voluntad del finado.

Con ello el legislador parece que pretende dar una respuesta a los cambios que la sociedad actual está pidiendo en materia sucesoria, ya que aunque de modo limitado permite desheredar siguiendo la tendencia generalizada y ya afianzada en muchos de los países de nuestro entorno, que además tras su implantación en el País Vasco demuestra el interés de la sociedad española sobre la cuestión.

Se trata de un asunto de claro interés social y los cambios en la línea descrita se irán desarrollando.

Mª Teresa Aragón Sánchez y Alfonso Legaz Hevia son socia y abogado en Quabbala Abogados y Economistas.

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New to renting? Here’s how to avoid housing horror stories

Updated

October 16, 2017 16:16:41

It’s easy to be won over by price or location but signing a lease based on emotion, or without looking at the fine print, could see you locked into a contract on a property that doesn’t tick all the boxes.

As a tenant, there is a lot you are expected to know and plenty of traps for those new to the game.

Seasoned tenants learn from their mistakes — here are a few tips to avoid making when you are starting out.

House hunting? Here’s what to look for on inspection

Top tips:

  • Thoroughly inspect the property and take lots of notes and photos
  • Know your rights and actually read your tenancy agreement
  • Look after the property and report damage as soon as possible
  • Get everything in writing

Real Estate Institute of Australia’s President Malcolm Gunning said prospective tenants needed to be on their A-game from the get-go.

“You lease it as it is. You’ve got to go in knowing very clearly what you’re leasing,” Mr Gunning said.

He suggested doing a self-audit.

Ask yourself (and your housemates) what you need out of a property, before going in.

Does the property work for pets, will it stay warm/cool, are there enough power points and if there are gardens, what kind of maintenance are you looking at?

Keep your eye out for these key areas:

Electrical

How old is the meter board and is it up to the job?

Mould and water damage

When it comes to mould, Mr Gunning said to steer clear of the property all together. You want a rental with ventilation in places like bathrooms and the kitchen.

Security

Do all doors and windows lock? Do all the keys work? Could someone break in easily?

Parking

Is there somewhere to park your car and will it fit? Older houses are made for older (and smaller) cars.

Pet friendly

Just because a property allows pets, does not always mean it will work for your pet.

You’ve been approved — now what?

You have been approved and it is time to move in — but do not sign your lease just yet.

Mr Gunning suggests taking the time to thoroughly crosscheck the inspection report.

It will include a list of areas where there is damage or issues and if you find something that is not recorded you could cop the blame (and a fee) when you leave.

Now is the time to take heaps of notes and photos.

New home not so clean?

If you move into a property and feel it is not clean, the time to note that is on the inspection report (and again, take some photos).

“If you accept something which is not necessarily up to your standards and you have no documentation, you’re going to be hard to argue the contrary,” Mr Gunning said.

Renter, Therese Sheen said she had been left re-cleaning a new rental upon moving in.

“As I did my condition report on one occasion, I noticed that the oven was dirty, the cupboards had sauce bottle rings in them, the carpets had not been cleaned,” she said.

“When I complained I was told it had been found satisfactory by the agent’s inspection.”

Mr Gunning said you can refute this and have it corrected by the real estate.

What are your rights as a tenant?

In short, you have the right to expect to live in a clean, safe property that will be maintained in the condition you leased it.

“Don’t assume the conditions of a new rental are the same as those of previous rentals,” Mr Gunning said.

His advice: Read your tenancy agreement and clarify terms you do not understand with the owner or agent.

An agent or owner must also give you sufficient notice before they enter the property for inspections or repairs.

They cannot simply turn up and come in.

You should also receive a tenancy booklet outlining your rights and most are available online.

What should the landlord maintain?

The landlord should maintain the property based on the condition it was in at the time you leased it.

“This includes the general maintenance of the house,” Mr Gunning said.

“Primarily it’s the fixtures and fittings. That is, things such as hot water, stoves, sewage, toilets.”

However, Mr Gunning said it may not always include garden maintenance or pest control — unless it is a provision on the lease.

Holding up your end of the deal

First and foremost, you don’t have any flexibility as far as rent is concerned.

And you can be on notice if you fall behind.

Mr Gunning said a landlord had the right to expect you care and maintain the property and pay your rent in full and on time.

Who pays for ‘fair wear and tear’?

Mr Gunning said it came down to what was considered reasonable.

“If you’ve been in a place for four or five years and the carpet starts to track and wear out that’s not your problem it’s more the landlord’s problem,” Mr Gunning said.

“But if you start to stain carpets, by spilling red wine or not cleaning your feet when you come in, then it becomes a tenant problem.”

Renting though an agent or privately

When you are new to renting, an agent can help keep both parties accountable, Mr Gunning said.

“Your agent is your advocate,” he said.

Renter, Carly Razum said as well as inspecting the house, you should inspect the agency too.

“Check online for reviews of the real estate and what they’re like to deal with,” she said.

Private rentals can seem a bit more informal but you still need to get everything in writing and know the ins and outs of your lease agreement.

Where else can you go for help?

Tenancy tribunals do not simply hold your bond — they can also help resolve and investigate disputes between you and your landlord.

Each state and territory in Australia has its own tenancy tribunal or body, like the Residential Tribunal Authority (RTA) in Queensland.

Topics:

industry,

housing-industry,

australia

First posted

October 14, 2017 12:30:24

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Toastmasters ta tene Open House diahuebs awor

E clubnan di Toastmasters na Aruba kier a invita e pueblo di Aruba pa nan Open House riba 19 october 2017, pa 7’or pm. Toastmasters ta un organisacion cu ta yuda bo desaroya bo abilidadnan comunicativo y di liderazgo, y ta habri na tur hende mayor di 18 aña. E studiante, e “Young Profesional”, e ama di cas, y esun mas grandi. Tanten bo tin un deseo di mehora bo mesun comunicion y liderazgo, esaki ta e club pa bo. Nos clubnan ta reuni dos biaha pa luna, y cada club ta focus riba un of dos idioma. Pues tur hende ta bon bini pa bin sera conoci cu nos clubnan durante e Open House y cu nos miembronan.Toastmasters International ta un organisacion non-profit na nivel mundial cu enfoque riba educacion di e individuo como lider y comunicacion efectivo. Actualmente tin 352,000 miembro y 16,400 club na nivel mundial den 141 pais. Na Aruba nos tin 5 diferente club den diferente distrito y tambe den diferente idioma. Un di seis club ta preparando pa habri.

Despues di scucha for di e diferente oradornan, invitadonan por cana rond den e mercado di informacion y netwerk cu miembronan di e diferente club. Durante di e anochi informativo aki, tur invitado lo cera conoci cu tur e clubnan y por dicidi cua ta mihor pa nan.

Oradornan pa e anochi aki lo ta señora Giandra de Cuba, cu lo presenta “Kiko ta Toastmasters?” y Señor Raffy Kock, lo presenta e secion di Table Topics, unda invitadonan (si nan ta desea di participa) tambe por haña e chens di duna un contesta na un pregunta den 1 pa 2 minuut. Table Topics ta un oportunidad pa desaroya bo habilidad di pensa y papia cla al instante.

E Open House y mercado di informacion lo tuma lugar diahuebs 19 di oktober 2017 den Aula di Universidad di Aruba cuminsando for di 7or di anochi y terminando pa 9:30pm. Pa mas informacion tocante e organisacion por bishita e pagina web www.toastmasters.org .

E clubnan di Toastmasters cu lo ta presente na e Open House ta:

• University of Aruba

• Yamanota

• Arikok

• Aruba

• Betico

• Sin Fronteras (den proceso di wordo funda)

 

Considera esaki boso invitacion personal pa asisti na e open House 19 october 2017, pa 7 pm. Si ta desea algun informacion tocante e evento por tuma contacto cu señora de Cuba na 740-4733 of bishita cualkier Facebook page di nos clubnan local.

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Marta Etura: “Estoy muy concienciada con el reciclaje” | Zen

La actriz Marta Etura recicla hasta el aceite en casa.

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Cost of living Queensland: Family budgets being blown on basics

Updated

October 17, 2017 06:46:12

Queensland families are forking out more than $76,000 a year on general living expenses, with rising costs on housing, food, energy and transport swallowing up the bulk of people’s pay, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) study on spending habits shows.

Cost of living in Queensland

This week we are looking at how we’re making ends meet, and how Queenslanders are stretching their dollar further.

Queenslanders pay more for coffee than people in New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia.

The ABS study also revealed Queenslanders were doing it the toughest when it came to finding spare cash in an emergency.

The financial stress indicator showed over 16 per cent of households could not access $2,000 in any given week.

But Queenslanders spend $33.92 a week on alcohol on average, which is the highest expenditure next to the Northern Territory.

Shontal Seng spends most of her time thinking about how to make her family of six’s budget stretch.

“We go without on a daily and weekly basis, make little sacrifices,” she said.

“I am always looking at where we can tighten a belt and I buy everything second-hand.”

Ms Seng said the high cost of power had been the hardest battle.

“We only have one light on at night-time,” she said.

“We cook on off-peak times, and all appliances are turned off when we go to bed.

“Basically I give each dollar a job — try and do as much as I can to cut costs.”

Widespread economic hardship across Queensland

How Queensland compares

Indicators of financial stress Queensland National Average
Paid gas, power, and phone bills late 10.9% 9.7%
Paid insurance or car rego bills late 4.8% 3.9%
Pawned belongings to get quick cash 2.8% 2.5%
Could not afford a nigh out once a fortnight 19.7% 16.6%
Could not afford a week’s holiday once a year 25.4% 22.6%

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Economist Nick Behrens said the ABS data showed widespread economic hardship was being felt right across Queensland.

“Wages growth at the moment is at an historic low … it is really squeezing household budgets and they are struggling to come up with the money to pay for their daily living expenses,” he said.

Mr Behrens said Queensland was faring worse than the rest of Australia due to the collapse of the mining boom.

He said the lack of jobs was creating a hidden unemployment rate of around 9 per cent.

“At the moment there are 235,000 Queenslanders who are technically defined as having a job … but the reality is they are looking for significant additional hours of employment,” he said.

“They are part-timers who don’t have the hours they need to be able to fund their cost of living.”

Cutting food bills in half

But thrifty families are finding ways to stay on top of their languishing pay packets.

Rebecca Davies formed a food co-op, buying fruit and vegetables at Brisbane’s Rocklea markets for 10 families every fortnight.

“I put in $40 and I get a large laundry basket that is full or overflowing,” Ms Davies said.

“We buy boxes in bulk and share it up equally.”

Ms Davies said the move had more than halved their food bills.

Emma Tozer is another market regular.

“We bought a box of tomatoes last week for just $2,” Ms Tozer said.

“We got a six-kilogram watermelon for $5 and they are $4.99 a kilo in the supermarkets.

“Everything is a whole lot cheaper — it goes a long way when you don’t have a huge budget.”

Doing without

Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS) chief executive officer Mark Henley said making ends meet was about “what to do without?”

“People are making decisions which are unacceptable,” he said.

“Having to go without meals, having to go without paying for health-related expenses.

“Putting off paying the energy bill, which even worse puts themselves in debt … so they maybe go to pay day lenders.

“People are also switching off power at night.”

Mr Henley said 25,000 Queenslanders a year were living with no power after being cut off by suppliers for not paying their bills.

“We are also seeing a massive increase in people moving onto hardship programs,” he said.

“Australia is looked at as a lucky country, but there would be a lot of people in Queensland these days that would not describe it as a lucky country any more.”

Topics:

people,

human-interest,

economic-trends,

activism-and-lobbying,

family-and-children,

community-and-society,

qld,

brisbane-4000,

australia

First posted

October 16, 2017 07:17:55

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Catalonia tourism ‘down 15%’ since independence vote: lobby group

Barcelona marina. Photo: Jorge Guerrero/AFP

Tourism activity in Catalonia, Spain’s most visited region, has dropped by around 15 percent since a contested independence referendum on October 1st that was marred by violence, an industry lobby group said on Tuesday.

The Catalan tourism sector suffered a drop in activity during the first two weeks of October “of around 15 percent” from the same period last year, Jose Luis Zoreda, vice president of the Exceltur trade association, told a news conference.

Hotel and transportation reservations through the end of the year are down by around 20 percent over the same time last year, he added.

If the drop is confirmed this would represent a loss in business of nearly 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) for the Catalan tourism sector.

Exceltur — which groups Spain’s major hotel chains, travel agents, tour operators and airlines — based the figures on a survey of its members in Catalonia.

The impact on the tourism sector appears to be stronger than that of the jihadist attacks in August in Barcelona and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils that killed 16 people and which caused a drop in the sector’s turnover of around five percent, according to the group.

Tourism sector companies have also “seriously put the brakes on all investments until the end of 2017,” Zoreda said.

“If the scenario of volatility and confrontations worsens in the coming months” the drop in tourism activity could reach up to 30 percent, he added.

The drop in activity would affect employment as the sector employs around 405,000 people in Catalonia, he added.

The impact of the slowdown in tourism, which represents around 12 percent of Catalonia’s economic output, could be the “same or more significant” than the flight of company headquarters out of the region in recent days, Zoreda said.

Catalonia, with its capital Barcelona and Costa Brava beaches, is the Spanish region that most attracts foreign visitors.

More than 18 million visitors went in 2016, or a quarter of all foreigners who came to Spain.

Britain, Germany and several other countries issued travel warnings to their citizens who planned to visit Catalonia ahead of the banned independence vote in Catalonia.

Shocking videos filmed on the day of the vote beemed around the world showed police dragging voters from polling stations by their hair, throwing people down stairs and attacking Catalan firefighters protecting polling stations.

READ ALSO: Human Rights Watch say Spanish police used excessive force in Catalonia

Since the referendum noisy street protests have been held in Barcelona by both advocates and opponents of independence, which have added to concerns about visiting the region.

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Ocho detencion total di esnan cu a subi tera ilegalmente na Santana di Cacho

E cantidad di illegal cu a  yega tera y cu a wordo descubri ta ocho. Esaki a sosode den Colony. E team di Polis no a give up mientras cu nan tabata sigur cu por a pone man riba esnan cu a yega Aruba den forma clandestino. A haya dos curpa sin bida. A keda busca pa esnan na bida cu tambe kizas por a yega tera. E buskeda tabata den e mondi sera cu hubada etc. Unidadnan uniforma di San Nicolas, Polis di Barrio, Unidadnan di K-9 etc tabata envolvi den e buskeda. For di momento cu e prome informacion a drenta banda di 10:35 mainta tocante e ilegalnan of curpa sin bida na altura di baby Beach, e buskeda a sigui riba tera y den lama. Asina a topa cu e di dos curpa sin bida. Mescos a topa otronan na pia cu tambe tabata forma parti di e grupo cu a yega tera. E hendenan aki mester bula na awa den lama bruto pasobra e boto no sa yega full na canto. Y caminda ta benta nan ta peligroso. Atardi a drenta y anochi tambe. E polisnan a keda cu nan buskeda den e scuridad. Finalmente un Polis moviendo su so a bin topa cu cuater mas hunto riba e caminda pabou di Centro Colorado. A pone tur para keto plat na tera y pidi refuerzo. E refuerzo a bin y asina a logra  detene tur cuater. Nan a admiti cu nan a yega Aruba marduga. Tur esnan deteni na bida lo mester forma parti di e proceso di interogacion. Polis a confirma cu ta ocho hende ta den man di husticia.

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