Thursday, March 31, 2011

Are cheap holidays for pensioners such a good idea?

Did you know that the Spanish government pays for over a million pensioners to go on holiday every year? There is a program called IMERSO (Institute for Seniors Social Services) which aims to subsidise holidays for the retired community and does so on a grand scale.

The scheme is 25 years old this year and has given the chance of cheap holidays to millions of pensioners. The idea is that the state subsidises holidays within Spain (& Portugal), including travel, full board accommodation, insurance and entertainment, for anyone drawing a state pension.

The objectives are to provide a social benefit to the retired and to benefit the domestic tourist industry, particularly during the quieter months of the year. The price list is shown on the Spanish social security website and, considering it is "all inclusive", looks pretty cheap. For example, a week in Portugal for 182,70€ (per person based on two sharing). A month in the Balearic Islands for 590€.

Apparently it costs the government around 150m€ a year. Unsurprisingly travel and small business lobbyists, particularly in the tourist provinces are well in favour. They claim that the scheme actually generates a profit for government with the increased employment and tax receipts generated.

On that basis then maybe all the Spanish government needs to do is spray the subsidies around more generously. Maybe they could offer bingo subsidies or cover the cost of coaches to away football games or even arrange cheap shopping trips to Madrid and Barcelona. All these things would generate spending and commercial activity and thus boost the government coffers. Ed Balls, the Labour Shadow Chancellor, is offering a similar line of argument - more government spending "supports" the economy, promotes growth and will thus improve the public finances in the long run.

Forgive me if I don't buy into a word of this economically illiterate balderdash. Economies thrive when taxes and regulations are light; government finances thrive when they are responsibly managed and the books are balanced. Soviet-era subsidised charabang trips to the seaside are not the route to economic success.

From our website IVA Rates in Spain


  1. You should plan ahead of time if your planning to have a grand vacation, because the closer your desired date is the higher the price will be.

  2. Hi,
    we are going to Golden triangle
    tour india
    by worldtrippackage. these website provide the all facility

  3. How lucky this pensioners are, most of us are looking for cheapest holidays to spain

  4. This is a cool move by the Spanish government. As for myself and my family, we have to get cheap holidays to Spain to enjoy all that this beautiful country has to offer.


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