MONEY IN POLITICS

Socialists call on politicians to post tax returns on web

Financial statements should be made public, says opposition as Rubalcaba releases tax return

With Spain facing its worst political crisis in recent years over a barrage of corruption allegations, the opposition Socialists (PSOE) on Thursday said they want lawmakers and top government officials to be more forthcoming about their personal finances.

The Socialists presented a resolution calling for a debate on their proposal to make it mandatory for all elected officials to post their financial statements annually on the web. They also want officials to make public inventories of all their possessions — homes, jewelry, art collections, stock — before and after they are in office.

The proposal, signed by Soraya Rodríguez, the party’s spokeswoman in Congress, comes after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy posted his recent tax returns on his Popular Party’s (PP) website at the weekend.

Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba also said on Thursday that he has asked the Spanish AEAT tax agency to supply him with his personal income returns to demonstrate that he earns no more than 55,000 euros annually, without including the per diems he is entitled to as a parliamentary member.

The PP leader had come under pressure to provide such information after secret account ledgers kept by the former party treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, allegedly showed that Rajoy and other leading members had been given under-the-table cash bonuses over the years. The conservative party then publicly demanded that Rubalcaba did the same.

Rubalcaba explained that last year he earned 67,229 euros when including all the expenses assigned to him as a parliamentary bloc leader. Without the stipends, his basic salary was 55,849 euros.

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