The Spanish have suffered the biggest tax increase and the biggest collapse in the real disposable income of their citizens among the major economies of the world, a situation that has occurred since 2019, since the first full year in which Pedro Sánchez assumed the reins of the government. The person who launched these two strong statements is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which publishes the latest quarterly statistical and comparative report of the main economies of the organization on income and tax indices. .
Therefore, Spain rose to first place among the states where income and wealth taxes increased the most in the last five years—between the last quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2023—as estimated by the “think tank,” which is a growth of 50%. According to quarterly statistics on real household income per inhabitant, Spain is followed by the United Kingdom, which has raised its tax by 40%. To complete the tax podium, Canada joined them, with more than 30%. The United States, with 20%, France, and Germany, with more than 10% in both cases, closed this ranking. The case of the United States is particularly important since this 20% increase occurred because the tax pressure increased to almost 45% during 2022, although last year this increase was also renewed.
In nominal terms, the numbers are frightening in the case of Spain. The tax burden accumulated during the last five years—the income and wealth tax—increased by 15.8 billion. That is, in the fourth quarter of 2019, it was 26,678 million euros and increased to 42,480 million in the third quarter of 2023—the most recent data available. OECD analysts point out that “more important” is the “strong” tax increase in the third quarter, when it goes from 34,029 million euros to the aforementioned 42,480 million, a total of 8,450 million more, a number that puts our country first in the 21 that make up the organization—and that provides official data—that raises most tax rates in less time.
The report also details the level of income in each of the member states, and Spain is also not doing well as the country that is decreasing in real income per inhabitant. Therefore, the real per capita income of Spanish households registered a decrease of 2.09% in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the previous three months—the largest decrease in the entire OECD—a reading that is more than a decrease of 0.2% that the organization as a whole noticed and which puts our country at the head of the waterfall, very far from Austria, the next with the biggest fall (-1.31%), and Ireland (-0.95%). Germany experienced a 0.6% decline in real income, also causing its real GDP per capita to fall for the fourth time.
This decrease in disposable income per inhabitant in Spain represents a sudden interruption of the expansionary period in three consecutive quarters, where the growth is 5.11% in the fourth quarter of 2022, 1.95% in the first quarter of 2023, and 0.59% in the second.
Although in the OECD as a whole the real disposable income of households fell by 0.2%, 11 of the states registered an increase in their income, while 10 recorded a decrease, in which Spain is the leader and has a difference. The largest increase in this real disposable income per capita was observed in Hungary (5.47%), along with the easing of inflationary pressures, first in Poland (2.91%) and Italy (1.45%).
OECD analysts prepared this indicator based on GDP per capita, where the taxes and contributions of each of the countries are then removed and social aid is added. After that, Spain did not go well and led the two rankings.