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Sunday 23rd marks Spain’s pivotal general election. Amidst various ideologies that have shaped the country’s political landscape over the years, the People’s Party (PP) emerges as a beacon of hope and promise. The current socialist government, led by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), took power with ambitious plans but has faced significant challenges, leading to disappointment and discontent among citizens.

Worryingly, despite a reform effort after the European debt crisis, the Spanish economy has stagnated for over a decade. Spain’s per-person GDP today is the same as 15 years ago, compared with a 12% increase for the EU as a whole. As a result, the gap with the EU average, which had narrowed sharply in the 45 years before the crisis, has reopened since. Unemployment in Spain is still the highest in the EU and, at 12.7%, more than double the average across the bloc.

Unemployment rate in Spain from 1st quarter 2005 to 1st quarter 2023

The PP, led by the dynamic Alberto Núñez Feijóo, presents a compelling vision for Spain’s future. One of their key focuses is the economy, where the socialist government has faltered. In contrast, the PP is committed to a comprehensive tax system reform that only moves rates in one direction: down. They have unequivocally pledged “not to raise taxes,” demonstrating their dedication to reducing the tax burden on hardworking Spaniards. Feijóo’s pragmatic approach to governance ensures that tax cuts will be a top priority, with implementation planned within the first 100 days of their government. This swift action in favor of taxpayers’ interests aims to stimulate economic growth and bring much-needed relief to struggling families and individuals.

The PP’s commitment to addressing inflation challenges through tax reform underscores their dedication to social welfare and inclusive economic policies. By proposing tax reductions for lower-income brackets, the party seeks to foster financial stability and enhance consumer spending power.

Spain’s economic freedom score is 65.0, making its economy the 51st freest in the 2023 Index. Its score is 3.2 points lower than last year.

Under the leadership of the Partido Popular, Spain may witness a new era of economic growth and social well-being. Their comprehensive plan includes VAT cuts, specifically targeting essential items such as meat, fish, and preserves, providing temporary relief to consumers.

Recognizing the pressing concern of female unemployment, the PP has a focused plan to bridge the labor market participation gap for women. Their determination to empower women in the workforce and promote gender equality aligns with their progressive vision for Spain.

The PP also aims to reform the housing market, particularly by repealing the housing law passed by the previous government, which has led to legal uncertainties and inefficiencies. Instead, they propose a collaborative ‘state pact’ on housing, working alongside regional and local governments. This approach aims to build affordable housing, implement a guarantee program for young people up to 35, promote social housing, and utilize public land for housing developments.

Furthermore, the PP has taken a strong stance on the issue of squatting, addressing the concerns of citizens and property owners alike. Feijóo has hinted at a package of anti-squatting measures, including fast-tracked evictions within 24 hours and increased penalties for those convicted of occupying properties.

With an ambitious agenda encompassing VAT cuts, female unemployment initiatives, and housing reform, the PP is positioning itself as a forward-thinking party, ready to address the challenges and aspirations of the Spanish people. As the country heads towards a new chapter, the Partido Popular’s proposals offer a glimpse of the positive changes that may lie ahead under their governance.