Doctors, teachers and taxi drivers strike across Catalonia

Wednesday is due to be a difficult day in Catalonia with planned stoppages across three different sectors in health, education, and taxi services.

Doctors, teachers and taxi drivers strike across Catalonia
Doctors are striking in Catalonia. Photo: Josep LAGO / AFP

Medical staff

The union Metges de Catalunya has called for five days of strikes for doctors and medical staff across Catalonia on Wednesday, January 25th and Thursday, January 26th, as well as February 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

They are demanding more resources and personnel for the Catalan public health system and between 25 to 28 patient appointments per work shift of 12 minutes each.

READ ALSO – Key dates: How planned health service strikes in Spain could affect you

After an unsuccessful meeting on Tuesday, January 24th to try and resolve issues and further talks on Wednesday morning that didn’t lead to any resolution, 25,000 health professionals from health centers and hospitals across the region have been called to strike. They have not demonstrated en masse like this in Catalonia since 2018.

Some 500 nurses and midwives also took to the streets on Tuesday, January 24th to ask for better working conditions. Their protest continues this Wednesday, when both nurses and doctors have gathered to march to Sants train station, where they are due to arrive at midday. 

The regional government has agreed to guarantee urgent health care as well as that of the neonatal units and vital chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.


Teachers and other educational professionals have also been called to strike with two days of planned walkouts on Wednesday, January 25th and Thursday, January 26th.

After a series of unproductive negotiations with the Minister of Education, Josep Gonzàlez-Cambray, the unions Ustec, CCOO and UGT decided to go ahead with the stoppages.  

The unions have said that the simultaneous strikes in education and health make perfect sense as they are “two pillars” of society that should be a priority for the government.

The union Ustec demands that the regional government should invest 6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in public education as established by the Education Law of Catalonia. They are also asking to reduce the ratios in the classes and improve the working conditions of educational professionals. 

Schools will remain open during these days, however, and minimum services have been established such as guaranteeing 50 percent of the staff in special education centers and nurseries.

Taxi drivers

Taxi drivers have also joined in the protests and will stage a four-hour strike on Barcelona’s Gran Via this Wednesday, against driver apps such as Free Now, Uber and Bolt.

Negotiations between The Elite Taxi union and the city council broke down last week and the union has called drivers to gather from 10am to 2pm on Gran Via with Plaza Tetuán and on Passeig de Gràcia.

Taxi drivers will also be voting on whether to protest during the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) and Mobile World Congress fairs. ISE will be held from January 1st to February 3rd and Mobile World Congress from February 27th to March 2nd.  

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Catalonia to cut income tax for most workers in 2024

If you pay tax in Catalonia you could be more than one of 2 million workers in the region due for a tax cut in 2024.

Catalonia to cut income tax for most workers in 2024

The Catalan Generalitat is preparing to cut the regional part of personal income tax (known as IRPF in Spain, something partly controlled by regions and partly by the central government) that will benefit taxpayers with incomes of up to €33,000 gross per year.

According to La Vanguardia and sources from the Department of Economy, the Generalitat plans to cut the rate of the regional scale in the first tax bracket by one percent: from the current 10.5 percent to 9.5 percent.

With this change, the minimum tax rate for low earners (from €12,450) when combined with the national rate, would go from 20 percent to 19 percent overall.

To take an example, for someone earning €24,900 gross per year, half of their income would be taxed at 9.5 percent by the national government, and the other half, taxed by the Generalitat, would go from 10.5 percent to 9.5 percent, giving estimated savings for the taxpayer of €125.

READ ALSO: LISTED: The taxes that will increase in Spain in 2024

With this change, Catalan taxpayers with lower incomes would no longer pay the most in the regional system. According to data from the Índice Autonómico de Competitividad Fiscal, which measures regional rates, in 2023 Catalonia was, for the second consecutive year, the region where the most taxes were paid.

The proposed tax cut is still in the draft law stage for the Generalitat’s 2024 budget, and the measure would still need to be supported by the rest of the regional parties in the Catalan parliament, something that is not a given.

This tax cut would benefit almost 3/4 of all taxpayers in the region (73 percent), which is around 2.6 million people. For other Catalan taxpayers, the measure will have a neutral impact, since tax rates in other scales would be adjusted slightly upwards so that people making more than €33,000 a year continue to pay the same as before.

Another of the measures proposed by the Generalitat is to reduce the overall number of personal income tax brackets from the current nine to eight. With that change, it is intended that smaller inflation-adjusted pay rises will not cause taxpayers to move up a bracket and end up paying a higher rate.

Although the Generalitat is hoping to approve the tax cut for its 2024 budget, it would not actually come into force until the following budget when taxpayers make their annual income tax return. However, it would be implemented retroactively from January 1st.