The Spanish Cabinet on Friday approved the reintroduction of a wealth tax, which is expected to raise an extra 1,000 million euros a year.
Treasury Minister and Economic Vice-President Elena Salgado, confirmed on Thursday that the 'Impuesto sobre el Partimonio' will be in effect for 2011 and 2012 and will affect 160,000 people who have net fortunes of 700,000 euros or above.
The value of a person's home is not counted in this amount until it reaches a value of 300,000 euros, or 600,000 euros in the case of a married couple.
Salgado confirmed that the measure was expected to raise 1,080 million euros a year, which will help contribute to the Spanish government's policy of fiscal consolidation.
The reintroduction of the tax happens the same day that the debt of Spain's public administrations was announced to have risen by 16.5 percent in the second quarter of the year.
The measure has been criticized by the opposition Popular Party, who believes that the amount of money raised by the tax is insignificant and accused the government of playing for the electorate just two months ahead of the forthcoming general elections to be held on Nov. 20.
Government spokesman Jose Blanco commented during the week that the PP were criticizing the measure while at the same time several regional authorities under PP control, such as Galicia and Madrid, had introduced spending cuts in education and were reducing the numbers of teachers, which provoked a mass demonstration in Madrid on Wednesday.
PP spokesperson Soraya Saenz de Santamaria on Friday rejected that accusation, assuring that the cuts were in departments that were "oversized" and in "unnecessary public companies."