Local Daily News 15th November
The new tax you will have to pay from January
Whether you are self-employed or an employee, you will have to pay a new tax from 2023. This is the Intergenerational Equity Mechanism (MEI), a new tax that must be paid, from January 1st, 2023, by all workers who are registered in the Social Security and that will suppose a percentage of the salary. A measure that affects more than 20 million Spanish citizens.
The Intergenerational Equity Mechanism replaces the old Sustainability Factor and is contingent and temporary. The objective of this tax is to replenish the pensions piggy bank through a balanced distribution between generations of the effort to finance pensions.
With the ageing of the population at skyrocketing levels, current unemployment, the imminent retirement of the baby boom generation and the practically empty pension reserve fund, the Government foresees the arrival of very difficult times for pensions.
Therefore, among other measures that include the pension reform, the MEI was carried out, which was published in the BOE last December. This mechanism acts on income (contributions) and not on benefits (expenses) as the repealed Sustainability Factor acted. Unlike the latter, which calculated benefits based on increased life expectancy, the Intergenerational Equity Mechanism will only be activated if necessary and temporarily.
The MEI that will arrive in January 2023 will not affect pensions, so their amount will not be reduced, unlike the repealed Sustainability Factor. This is a new tax that will be assumed by all workers regardless of their income. That is, the percentage of the salary will be the same for everyone.
This new tax will be applied as a new contribution concept, so that people who are registered with Social Security will see their payroll reduced by 0.6%. This surcharge on the contribution will weigh on the workers’ payroll but also on the self-employed quota.
In this way the Government wants to raise enough money to cover the cost of future pensions. Specifically, it is intended to collect around 22,000 million euros until 2032, the date on which the application of this new tax is expected to end.
To pay this new tax, which will come into force on January 1st, 2023, 0.6% of the workers’ salary will be deducted. Of this amount, employers will pay 0.5% and workers will pay the remaining 0.1%. While in the case of the self-employed, the unions calculate that the average payment will be about 5 euros per month.
The City Council of Torrevieja gives environmental approval to four skyscrapers in the Cala del Palangre
The local government board has approved the strategic environmental and territorial report of the four towers of 28 stories planned in the Cala del Palangre de Torrevieja. The specific modifications that cover this skyscraper project on the seafront contemplate that 50% of the buildable area must be destined for hotel use -two of the four towers.
The plot of the so-called Distribution Area Number 78 and located between the Punta Margallo promenade and Los Locos beach, totals 14,735 square metres. The resolution signed by the general director of Urbanism indicates that the project “has no significant effects on the environment.”
Of the total plot, 2,500 square metres will be arranged as a green area surrounding the Palangre house: redoubt of a traditional summer house protected in the General Plan. While another 3,399 square metres will be dedicated to the pedestrian road network. The plan generates an area of public space greater than 12,000 square metres, according to figures provided by the secretary councillor of the local government board, Federico Alarcón.
The project is promoted by the promoter from Alicante, Don Sento, who has already prepared the presentation to the City Council of the detailed study for its full approval and which is the most relevant urban procedure to consolidate the project from the urban point of view. Among other conditions of this environmental report, the company the City Council indicates that the detailed study must contemplate “the important number” of palm tree specimens.
That same study must contemplate “compensatory measures” must include the one that the towers must not throw leftovers on the beaches in the section between 10 and 7 p.m. and must incorporate that study of shadows to justify that it complies with that requirement. The municipality had already favourably evaluated the same project from an environmental point of view in January 2021. However, in order to provide the processing with greater legal certainty, the developer wanted to repeat the procedure, something that also coincides with the completion of the entire documentation to record the detailed study.
Beyond giving an account in the government boards, urban management is not, by far, one of the star issues of local government despite the enormous environmental, social and economic impact it has on the city. The mayor, Eduardo Dolón, who is a councillor for Town Planning, gives explanations on town planning procedures exclusively when they go to plenary sessions. The popular team has kept in a drawer the adjudication procedure for the review of the General Plan for three and a half years.
The bipartite of Alicante rectifies and will reduce the Christmas lighting schedule to save energy
From qualifying as “occurrence” the proposal of the Generalitat Valenciana that the municipalities cut energy consumption by 20% with Christmas lights, to announcing that the city of Alicante will reduce electricity consumption by 30% by turning off the Christmas lights at midnight between weekdays and at 01:00 a.m. on weekends, except on big days (Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Eve), when the ornamentation will remain lit until 04:30 a.m. The official lighting will be set up this Friday, thus making it coincide with the Black Friday preview, “as a measure to support local businesses and an incentive to attract the public and attract tourists.”
“The proposal of the Generalitat is a very little thought-out occurrence. President Puig has not realised that lighting, precisely in the Valencian Community, is decisive for our productive sectors, such as tourism and commerce, unlike other autonomous communities in which these types of cuts do not have the same impact. It can put us in worse competitive conditions, “said the mayor of Alicante, Luis Barcala at the end of August, after learning of the Generalitat’s proposal.
Two and a half months later, the bipartisan has advanced that the Alicante City Council will turn on the Christmas lighting this Friday, November 18th, and with fewer hours than other years to reduce the electricity bill. “This year, the lights reach many more neighbourhoods and rural areas, reinforcing them with a greater number of garlands and arches in the streets and squares, expanding the budget and with a 30% reduction in consumption,” the government has assured council in a statement, explaining that “the City Council has programmed a saving plan with a 30% reduction in the consumption of lights with ten hours less from Sunday to Thursday”. Thus, the lights will be on from 7:00 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and until 01:00 a.m. on weekends, except for Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and Three Kings’ Day, which will be until 04:30 a.m. In total, 2,226 Christmas motifs of arches, garlands, elements in lampposts, posters and trees with low-consumption LEDs have already been installed throughout the city, with a budget that was increased by 200,000 euros after the modification of the contract approved last Tuesday. According to the City Council, “the lights have a system of LED luminaires, which allows us to reduce lighting costs and consumption.”
The official inauguration of the Christmas lighting will take place this Friday at 7:00 p.m. The event is expected to be attended by the mayor of Alicante, Luis Barcala, who will be accompanied by the deputy mayor, Mari Carmen Sánchez, among others. This year, the conical Christmas tree, 18 metres high, returns to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. “New motifs and decorations of large passable dimensions are incorporated that have been placed in this edition in the Séneca and Montañeta squares, at the end of Óscar Esplá and in front of the Theater. In the statement, the bipartite has highlighted as” novelty ” the giant ball of 12 metres and 8,116 LEDs that already shines on the Esplanade, which will have a light and sound show that can be enjoyed three times a day.After the controversy that arose from the criticism of neighbours and opposition groups before the Failure to comply with the Ordinance of Parks and Gardens of the Alicante City Council with the installation of the giant Christmas ball on the Esplanade of Alicante. The bipartite gave orders to the service concessionaire company to remove the wiring and registers from the palm trees and place them in the streetlights.
The City Council has made a triple assessment of ornamental lighting. The Councilor for Infrastructure, José Ramón González, responsible for Christmas lighting, has highlighted that “this year the lights reach more neighbourhoods, making a firm commitment to Christmas lighting that is reinforced so that Alicante shines and shines with decorative lighting at night of the highest level”. “There are more than two million LEDs and a new innovative design that incorporates a giant ball and large decorations that were so successful at past parties. With them we manage to improve the quality, originality and spectacularity of the lighting in our parties in the streets, squares and most significant points”, added González.
For her part, the Councilor for Commerce, Lidia López, has valued the commitment to “the city’s commerce by extending the contract to reach more neighbourhoods and have the best lighting this year and the Christmas campaign”. “I invite the people of Alicante to go out as a family, consume and make their purchases in the shops of our neighbourhoods, enjoying the Christmas lights and the activities”, she pointed out López.
Finally, the Councilor for Fiestas, Manolo Jiménez, has also encouraged all Alicante “to enjoy the illuminated streets.”
A policeman kicks a detainee who was resisting in Elche twice in the head
The action of an agent of the National Police Corps, apparently attached to the Elche Police Station, in which he kicks a man on the ground twice in the head, who is being held by another agent with whom he is struggling, has gone viral due to its harshness. The events occurred last Thursday and the recording of a neighbour, from a building on Pedro Moreno Sastre street, has gone viral, with many comments censoring the police action. The video has allegedly been broadcast on social networks by the family of the attacked man who was arrested, along with a second relative, who was released. Two officers were injured and a police vehicle damaged. The arrested man, in the transfer to the police headquarters, tried to harm himself, according to the National Police and caused damage to the 091 vehicle. The duty judge has sent him to prison, but not for these facts but for the requirements that led to his identification.
In the police intervention, a man was arrested, considered dangerous in police media, who threw pepper spray at two agents in the eyes to avoid his arrest, according to this version. They went after him and found him with another person. They are 26 and 27 years old. When identifying him on the street, the subject made a move to take out his ID, as requested, when in fact what he took out was the aforementioned spray with which he sprayed the policemen in the eyes, it seems, with the intention of escaping from the place because he knew they were after him. The video is being broadcast by the relatives of both involved. In it he assures that “the reason why they do that to him is because they have accused him of something that he has not done and we have evidence and witnesses.” Actually, there are two police injunctions against this person.
The video also shows how the policeman in civilian clothes, after hitting the detainee, tries to rub his eyes with one of his hands and walks away from the scene a few metres, which would corroborate what was the trigger for this violent reaction on the part of the people. Throughout the video, which is just over a minute long, up to four police officers are seen intervening, two of them in uniform entering the scene, which would show that they were trying to stop this person and that they were waiting for him to answer for the facts of which he is accused.
In the video, a plainclothes officer is seen kicking a man lying on the ground twice to the head, while another officer tries to restrain him. The voice of the neighbour who is making the recording, in which she yells at the policeman after seeing the kicks: “ehh, ehhh, relax, relax”, makes him see that he is being watched. The policeman seems to be confused and the detainee on the ground stops moving. This circumstance makes one of the women think that she “has died”.
Twelve thousand diabetes patients in the province are at risk of leg amputation
“Psychologically, when you tell a person that they are going to cut off their foot, they are very affected. The psychosocial factor is very important.” The podiatrist Jorge Escoto, who is part of the board of directors of the College of Podiatrists of the Valencian Community, emphasises on World Diabetes Day one of the worst consequences of this disease, which is growing at a much higher rate than expected and that already reaches in the world those affected that the World Health Organization (WHO) foresaw for 2030.
More than 12,000 diabetes patients in the province are at risk of foot or leg amputation, especially older people whose disease ends up affecting the cardiovascular system because excess sugar prevents wound healing and proper blood circulation to the extremities, which leads to something irreversible. Amputee patients often have type 2 diabetes and are unaware of it. They do not treat it and do not give importance to the injuries they may suffer until it is too late.
The figures have grown during the pandemic, a stage in which many patients did not undergo blood glucose tests or controls due to the paralysis of the health system, to which the podiatrists themselves often refer the diabetic foot based on the patient’s symptoms, what that alerted the Federation of Diabetics of the Community.
The survival rate after a total or partial amputation is very short, with 70% mortality in the following five years, well above the European average.
Amputations, along with diabetic retinopathy, which affects the eyes, are the most visible effects of diabetes, a disease that affects more than 40,000 people in the province, 90% of them type 2, called “silent” because in its early stages it is asymptomatic. In fact, there are at least another 20,000 undiagnosed people from Alicante, that is, a third of patients are unaware that they are diabetic. This data from the Diabetic Union fall short compared to those managed by the College of Nursing, which takes as a reference the Diabetes Strategy of the Valencian Community, according to which the real prevalence is 7.8%, which would raise the figures 140,400 diabetics in the province; and another 108,000 more who do not know it.
The increase in this disease in Spain, of almost 15% per year and at the head of Europe, worries patient associations. Despite the Mediterranean diet, more and more people eat poorly, with a higher consumption of fats and sweets, which leads to obesity and, to cope with it, the body needs more insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas and that regulates the amount of glucose in the blood.
Hence, the cases diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which is initially treated only with pills, skyrocket. “Early diagnosis is essential because starting treatment as soon as possible prevents it from getting worse, especially in type 2,” says José Manuel Miralles, president of the Alicante Diabetic Union. Health advises a balanced diet and exercise as weapons against diabetes.
The Global Burden of Disease points out that diabetes has gone from being the fifth to the fourth cause of disability in Spain, with an estimated increase of 20.4%. “Diabetes is the first cause of hemodialysis or kidney transplant, loss of vision, amputations, etc. It is a very frequent cause of absenteeism, depression and other consequences in the personal and social spheres of the affected people and their caregivers. It affects eventually to any organ or tissue, so avoiding complications is our fundamental objective,” says the coordinator of the Diabetes Area of the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN), Dr. Fernando Gómez Peralta.
People with type 1 diabetes can develop it at any time, although the highest number of cases occur around the age of 14. However, type 2 diabetes usually appears after the age of 45, associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, among others. Although there are several types of diabetes and each person is different, in general, there are five groups: type 2, approximately 80% of the total, with at least 5 different subtypes, 10% autoimmune diabetes, 5% monogenic cause, another quite wide miscellany of different causes and a transient diabetes, gestational diabetes.
The patient associations demand that the health authorities provide the necessary means for better patient adherence to treatment, such as the universalization of test strips so that they reach all patients, including those with type 2 diabetes who are treated only with pills. Although the patient associations consider that the ideal is for everyone to have a sensor, which type 1 patients have and who need to inject insulin because their body does not produce this hormone, they are usually seen by the family doctor and not by the endocrinologist, and they don’t give them strips if they want to control themselves.
“It is a kind of electronic device that you implant in your arm and that has an application that connects to your mobile, or a reader provided by the laboratory, and gives the glucose level. The results are uploaded to the cloud and the doctor has access to the data of the last three months”, indicates the president of the Union of Diabetics of Alicante.
Since most type 2 patients do not have access to this type of glucose metre, the entity demands that Social Security finance the test strips, since diabetes is a chronic disease in these cases as well. A box of 100 units of these strips costs 50 euros, a high amount for patients since most of those who suffer from this type of diabetes are elderly and pensioners.
Patients have to prick their finger and the blood sample is deposited on the strip, which is inserted into a glucose metre. “Thus they do not have to be aware, as is the Health, of the appointments with Nursing and they can request it directly with the doctor if the glucose level is very high, which would be a way to optimise resources”.
The Ministry of Health does finance glucose metres for some 3,000 type 1 diabetics in the province, devices whose cost is around 120 euros per month and which are indicated for patients, many of them children, who wear an insulin pump 24 hours a day and have difficulty controlling the disease. Likewise, the Ministry gave the green light last May to the financing for patients with type 2 diabetes of the new “intelligent” monitors, which allow a continuous reading of the blood sugar level and warn the patient in case of decompensation.
These new devices will benefit some 8,000 people in the province of Alicante who, although they suffer from type 2, need to take insulin and who currently depend on test strips to control the disease.
Until now, these devices were financed for people with diabetes 1 and in 2023 they will also be free for patients with type 2 diabetes who meet a series of requirements. The main one is whether they are patients who have to undergo intensive insulin therapy, with multiple daily doses or with an insulin pump and who require at least six digital punctures per day for self-monitoring of blood glucose.