RICH & POOR IN SPAIN: MILLIONAIRES THRIVE IN THE LAND OF WAITERS

Money MattersNewssliderSpain

For the very rich only: The Lamborghini Aventador 2018. No more than 4000 of this sports car will be produced. Its base price is US$393,695.  The new millionaires in Spain could well afford it.

 

By Rose Maramba

Recently, in a popular talk show on a Spanish TV channel, Spain was dubbed “país de camareros” (Land of Waiters) in an attempt to draw attention to the plight of many university graduates – and the young in general – who can’t find jobs in suitable sectors. Not even in whichever sector that pays “decent” and one doesn’t have to be a working poor.

Grim, right? Oh but in this “Land of Waiters” the number of taxpayers whose declared assets (tangible assets such as cash, securities, equipment, real estate, etc, and intangibles such as patents, franchises, copyrights, etc.) are worth more than €30 million has tripled in the last ten years, according to the Spanish Agencia Tributaria (Tax Agency)! That is, between 2006 and 2016, 2016 being the latest date where data are available.

Spanish waiter serving mojito in Majorca

In 2016 each of the nearly 600 taxpayers (579 to be exact) has assets of more than €30 million. Comparatively, in 2006 only 200 taxpayers were that rich; in 2011, 352.

But here’s the broader picture: the majority of the taxpayers across Spain (68.5%) have declared assets of between €300,000 and €1.5 million in 2016. The second largest group consists of taxpayers with assets of between €1.5 million and €6 million. The next group owns assets of between €6 and €30 million. And that brings us to the 579 taxpayers who own assets upwards of €30.05 million.

Incidentally, Eurostat says that while the data from 2016 show that in the EU the top 20% of the population (the segment of the population with the highest income) had 5.2 times as much as the bottom 20% on average, the wealth gap varied considerably from one member state to another. In Spain, same as in Greece, the assets of the top 20% were 6.6 times more than the bottom 20%. Compare that with, say, Bulgaria (8.2 times), Slovenia and Finland (3.6) or Lithuania (7.1).

———

Images
Lamborghini/Alexander Migi, CC BY-SA4.0
Waiter/devopstom, CC BY-Sa2.0