In view of the upcoming elections in the Canaries due on 28 May, many candidates of the registered political parties are coming forward with different proposals. On this occasion, the candidate for the Parliament of the Canary Islands representing the political party Ciudadados (Citizens), Isabel Bello, has presented her electoral programme, in which the priority lies in “the elimination of customs with Europe, which will facilitate e-commerce with the islands, as well as import and export for local traders.
With such an abolition, the administrative customs formalities would disappear, facilitating the arrival and departure of goods”. The Ciudadanos Party also proposes to establish a reduced VAT for the Canary Islands, like the Azores and Madeira. In this way the tax would be set at 5%, explains the Liberal leader.
On the other hand, the political party that is often referred to as “orange” is in favour of reforming the Electoral Law: “The scarce weight of Tenerife and Gran Canaria in the Parliament of the Canary Islands means that the residents of the capital islands suffer a comparative disadvantage compared to other Canary Islanders. For this reason, Ciudadanos is proposing something as basic but revolutionary as one person, one vote.
It cannot be that 6,000 votes on a smaller island govern the Canary Islands because they are worth the same as 100,000 votes on a capital island. With this proposal we will create a single regional list for the Canary Islands Parliament in which the vote of all people, wherever they live, is worth the same”.
In relation to this, the Liberal party proposes to do away with half the number of MPs, since “the creation of a single regional list would make it possible to go from the current 70 politicians to 35. In addition, the possibility of exclusive dedication for all MPs would also be eliminated, restricting it only to the spokesperson of each group represented in the Chamber, while the rest would only receive allowances for attendance at committees or plenary sessions”.
They also believe it is necessary to facilitate access to housing. To this end, Bello pointed out, they will impose tax relief on the purchase and rental of housing for under 35s and large families, or cohousing for the elderly as an alternative to residential homes. In this sense, he explained that it is also necessary to promote social housing and this “does not involve building new houses, it is enough to execute the right of first refusal, a legal figure that already exists in the Spanish regulatory framework and which grants a preferential right of purchase in favour of the Administration in transfers of housing”.
“In education, the Canary Islands are at the bottom of the list. The 2019 PISA tests showed that we are the worst Community in science and mathematics. To address this, we propose to allocate 200 million euros over three years for the creation of an intensive and 100% online educational mentoring programme. This is a proposal that is very similar to the Menttores programme, which provided maths tutoring to different groups of pupils and led to a considerable improvement in their school results,” explained the Liberal candidate.
In relation to families, the Ciudadanos programme aims to promote work-life balance: “We propose three fundamental measures: to create a children’s grant to cover 100% of the cost of nursery schools, to reduce income tax by 10 points for families with two or more children and to open nursery and primary schools during the holidays”.