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IBI, gas, electricity and the minimum wage go up on New Year's Day
THE NEW Year has started off with increases in fuel, property tax and motorway tolls – and of the minimum wage.
Mains gas will go up by 6.2% on average - 4.9% for those who use it for hot water and cooking only and 6.6% for those who use it for heating – due to price rises in raw material in international markets, although the portion of the bill that the government controls will be frozen for the fourth consecutive year.
As for electricity bills, the amount set by the government in fees and taxes – around 60%, with the rest covering the actual power consumed – will also be frozen, meaning any increases will be due to the price of the energy itself and influenced by crude oil costs, which appear to be continuing their upward trend.
Bottled gas will remain at €14.45, having risen by 30 cents in November, with the next price review due on the third Tuesday of January.
It has already been reported that motorway tolls will rise by 1.91%, but it was announced today (New Year's Day) that rail fees had not been reviewed, and that airport tax had been reduced by 2.22%.
National telecommunications giant Telefónica, which owns all the lines in Spain and 'sells' them to other operators, has frozen its monthly standing charge at €14.33, which it has been since January 2013.
Postal costs will go up, with stamps for ordinary letters and cards to national destinations going up to 55 cents and parcels rising by 1.32%, whilst stamps for international letters and packages have gone up by 10 cents.
State pensions have, once again, gone up by the minimum required by law – 0.25% - as has been the case since January 2012, but which will still cost the State €332.37 million.
Once again, the government has reviewed catastral, or basic land values on 1,830 towns, cities and villages – values which are used to calculate annual IBI or property tax.
Of these, 534 municipalities have seen reductions, including the cities of Lleida and Castellón, and 1,260 have experienced increases, including the cities of Valencia, Teruel, Logroño, Huesca, Cádiz and Badajoz.
The minimum wage has increased as promised to €735.90 a month and payable over 14 months a year – with a double salary in August and at Christmas – bringing the annual total to €10,302.60.
As the minimum wage is below the taxation threshold, this means workers who are only given 12 payments a year will take home €858.55 a month for a full-time, 40-hour-a-week job.
Public sector salaries are still waiting to be reviewed, having risen by 1% in 2017.
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