Spain Offers 65 Bln Euros of Cuts

Fourth austerity package in seven months raises sales tax to 21% from 18%.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced tax increases and spending cuts totaling 65 billion euros ($80 billion), risking a deepening recession to keep the euro financial crisis at bay.

Rajoy’s fourth austerity package in seven months will raise the sales levy to 21 percent from 18 percent; scrap a tax rebate for home buyers; scale back unemployment benefits and study pension cuts; consolidate local governments and eliminate the year-end bonus for public workers. The budget measures, covering the next two-and-a-half years, are about double those previously announced.

Regions’ Cuts

Rajoy also called on the regions to make deeper cuts and said a new law would limit pay for mayors and the services that municipalities can offer. The government will create a mechanism to help regions locked out of markets gain access to financing in return for deeper budget cuts, he said.

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