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The Government has been open this Tuesday to lower the VAT on masks as long as Brussels gives the go-ahead.

This has been confirmed by the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, who has asserted that another way by which the Executive would be willing to make the masks cheaper would be through a reduction in the maximum price of the product.

Montero reiterated this Tuesday after the Council of Ministers that the "European regulation prevents the VAT from being lowered on masks sold to the public, not the VAT on masks that are dispensed in health centers", a modality that is already being applied in Spain finds reduced.

For this reason, he said, the Government has once again requested the European Union "to confirm this point", in relation to whether a reduced VAT can be applied to masks sold in commercial establishments for daily use. .

The news comes after the Executive has rejected Citizens' proposal to reduce the VAT on masks from 21% to 4%, a measure that would cause "1,568 million euros of lower collection per year."

The Government has also dropped the request to finance PCR tests for the self-employed, SMEs and security forces and bodies, as well as all health services personnel, considering that these measures "would mean an increase in spending or a decrease in budgetary income ".

With this justification, the Executive has vetoed the amendments that PP, Ciudadanos and Vox intended to present this Tuesday in Congress in the commission that debates the Bill of urgent prevention, containment and coordination measures to face the health crisis caused by the coronavirus.

"Decrease in income"

The proposal to lower the VAT on masks, promoted by the Parliamentary group of Citizens, has been rejected, according to the Government, following European legislation: "The Court of Justice of the European Union, (...), already it specified the scope of Annex III in relation to Spanish legislation, not allowing the taxation at a reduced rate of goods such as gloves, masks or disinfectant gels and other similar products ".

However, in the letter prepared by the Secretary of State for Relations with the Courts, to which EL MUNDO has had access, the response to the



by the Executive ends by adding that "a VAT reduction such as the one proposed by the amendment of Grupo Ciudadanos means a decrease in income for the State ".

"If a daily consumption of 50 million per day of masks is assumed, the annual cost of the rate reduction from 21% to 4% would mean 1,568 million euros of lower collection per year", they calculate from the Government.

The truth is that the European Commission will not take measures for the time being against member states that apply a reduced VAT on masks.

The very first vice president of the Government, Carmen Calvo, said this weekend that the Government is "open" to consider a reduction in VAT on masks, despite the veto imposed on the Citizens' amendment in Congress.

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has influenced the same line this Tuesday and has asked "prudence" while working on alternatives.

Almost 14 billion in masks

The processing of two amendments registered by Vox in which the provision of masks was required for all Spanish citizens and, in addition, to provide at least one PCR to all members of the Police, the Civil Guard and workers has also been denied of health services.

As explained by the Government, the first amendment would cost 13,811 million euros per year to achieve the absolute financing of the 47.3 million Spaniards, attending an average of two daily masks per person.

In the case of PCR, at 18 euros the test, would mean an expense of more than 10.7 million euros per year to guarantee that the more than half a million workers in health services and security forces received at least one test .

SMEs and freelancers

Another of the amendments vetoed in the commission is the one promoted by the PP, which requested greater financial support for the self-employed and SMEs for the acquisition of masks and the performance of PCR.

"Taking into account that there are in Spain about 3 million SMEs that employ about 10 million people and assuming an average consumption of 2 masks per day for each worker in 253 working days and foreseeing the use of surgical masks with a unit cost of acquisition of 0.40 euros, the annual cost of the total financing of masks would be 2,024 million euros ", they explain from the Executive.

In addition, the cost of at least one PCR to them would cost, according to the calculations exposed from Moncloa, no less than 180 million euros.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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