As 2009 fades away and the fresh hopes of a brand new year appear on our horizons, its always a time of reflection.
Those of us old enough to remember two, three (or maybe more,) previous global recessions will no doubt compare the last year or so, with memories of how we coped the last time the clock of fiscal progress and growth stopped ticking. And how it always started again, seemingly with a louder tick and a more urgent sweep of it’s hands. Then an unstoppable upward curve driven by commercial enterprise and demand for profits, just escalated us onwards to new heights!
I know its too early to celebrate such a turn-a-round just yet, and for anyone who has lost their job, their business or their home it will come as small consolation...but I do believe that the degree of global consensus and international action was unprecedented, and has hopefully averted the full scale financial melt down that we may all have otherwise faced.
Taking a look back at what has happened here in yachting, again, nobody I guess is celebrating bumber profits, and there have been some financial casualties, crew lay offs, yachts being mothballed etc. But it does seem that the region has had a degree of resilience to “la crisis” as it has been dubbed in Spain. Hopefully the excellent and very international marine services infrastructure which has been built here over several decades will remain largely in tact, and be ready to capitalise on the growth in leisure yachting that will surely come when normal service is resumed.
At this time of the year it falls (happily) upon me to sincerely thank all the readers that have supported us through 2009, by picking up an Islander every month, hopefully enjoying it, finding something of interest, and patronising our advertisers - without whom of course, none of it would be possible. I would like to thank them too, for their confidence in us as a means of promoting their businesses to the yachting market in The Balearics. Especially at a time when budgets within all companies have been under pressure.
Last but by no means least, many thanks to our small band of regular contributors. Without their knowledge on such specialised subjects we would not be able to bring you so much relevant and topical information every month.
A recent piece of news I found very interesting was the landmark legal case in The European Court of Justice (ECJ) which ruled that the Spanish government has illegally overcharged non Spanish residents Capital Gains Tax (CGT) by 133% from 1997 up until December 2006. Apparently a possible 90,000 British expats who have sold their holiday home in Spain at some point in the past 12 years could now be owed thousands of pounds by the Spanish tax authority, possibly adding up to a staggering pay out of €944 million!!
As I mentioned last month there was also a definitive ruling in the ECJ against the luxury tax on yachts visiting Sardinia, which could well open the way for reimbursement claims.
My new years wish (and no doubt that of many others) is that similar European legal pressure will be applied to the Spanish government with respect to the 12% matriculation tax, which is unfairly burdening consumer luxury spending.
According to figures recently obtained by the Spanish Large Yachts Association (AEGY,) the revenues derived in The Balearics from this tax stream are declining at an alarming rate over the last three years. Surely it won’t need a genius to work out that 12% of nothing...is still nothing!
Happy Holidays, as they say in the USA!