Spain to raise 2 billion euros less from bank, energy taxes, De Cos says

By Jesús Aguado

MADRID (Reuters) -The Bank of Spain estimates the government will raise a combined 5 billion euros ($5.2 billion) by 2024 from its proposed taxes on Spanish banks and large energy companies, down from the 7 billion euros initially anticipated by the ruling coalition, central bank Governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos said on Tuesday.

In a speech posted by the central bank on its website, De Cos said “the temporary levies on certain credit institutions and energy companies could together raise around 2.5 billion (euros) in 2023 and 2024.”

In the initial plan set out in July, Spain’s ruling coalition was planning to raise 3 billion euros from banks and 4 billion euros from large energy companies by 2024.

The Bank of Spain did not provide a new breakdown for the tax collections nor did it elaborate further, but a spokesperson confirmed the central bank had its own estimates.

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Both tax proposals were amended and cleared last week the first hurdle in the lower house of Spain’s legislature in the first reading after some parties in northern regions approved an exemption of large energy firms’ domestic regulated activities and foreign operations.

The new estimates by the central bank are in stark contrast with the government’s updated tax collection forecasts. On Friday, Budget Minister Maria Jesus Montero said the government would collect 400 million euros less than expected from the revised windfall tax proposal on energy companies.

Earlier this month, the banking tax was also amended to impose levies on the local units of foreign lenders after the European Central Bank warned that the proposal could distort market competition.

(Reporting by Jesús Aguado; additional reporting by Emma Pinedo; editing by David Latona and Paul Simao)