10 Commandments to Reduce Unemployment Rates in The Canary Islands

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The rate of unemployment in the Canary Islands has improved, and this is great.

The Canary Islands currently have 336,500 unemployed, 30.3% of people in employment, a figure that represents a reduction of more than four points from its peak in September 2013 (34.8%) and the third consecutive decline.

It's wonderful news, but far from enough and will not improve much more with the current system.

Therefore, the Business Circle of Gran Canaria has provided us all with this decalogue of advice of what is needed to kick start The Canary Islands and be successful,

1. More and better education.

The real key to everything. The reduction of failure, the introduction of training-oriented languages, the promotion of entrepreneurship and excellence of teachers must be a pillar of the new government. Companies have to jump on the dual vocational training system to improve practices.

2. More technology.

The Canary Islands have everything needed to become a center that attracts talent in new technologies. And the government has to create all the facilities needed so that manufacturers and suppliers of products will move here. We need to invest in technological education and promote more attractive packages to encourage investment in technology.

3. Less laws.

The more laws there are, the more legal intricacies are judicialised.

The current administrative tangle causes great legal uncertainty for investors. The repeal of laws has passed, especially by removing the current Tourism Law, which includes the so-called third moratorium.

4. End the underground economy.

The previous government estimated the black market on the islands in 28% of GDP. This is no only about capital, but also the teaching of values, simplification of procedures and a good example from the Administrations.

5. Liberalisation of the economy.

The planned economy is unsuccessful. To guess the market is impossible, therefore, liberalisation should be imposed. The work of the Administration should be limited to encourage (and not subsidising) the business action and check that basic rules are met.
Capital investments must be streamlined. In the Canary Islands the profusion of procedures in each of the Administrations delays any initiative for years, some for even over a decade. Allowing investment increases competition, thereby promoting much-needed renovation of tourism. 

6. Lowering taxes.

Both income tax and corporation tax. The first will generate increased consumption and therefore more business. The second would extend the benefits and streamline its management.

7. To facilitate hiring and firing .

It sounds harsh, but the extreme rigidity of the labor market is not encouraging for both protection from dismissal and how to stop the incorporation of workers to quality contracts.

The two countries with the most unemployment in Europe, Spain and Greece are the two with the highest costs to make workers redundant. The current system encourages companies to lay off permanent workers that have been employed for less time in the company, rather than their worst employees.

8. More attention to energy.

The Canaries are rich in natural energy. But this requires agility, administrative simplification and an end to the legal uncertainties. It could extend the penetration of renewables (the Islands provide 7% of capacity compared to 22% nationally). It also requires ensuring access to more efficient and economical fuel.

9. Revised Statute and update REF.

Parliament and regional government should be limited to regional business, and let the Councils matters be incumbent on each island (urbanism, territory, determine tourist areas, promotion policies to attract visitors). Thus, it would be decentralised and would streamline decision making.
Our Economic and Fiscal Regime is responsible for amortising the additional costs borne by residents and businesses in the Canaries. But now, after 20 years, it is outdated. The new text must also include a commitment to a certain annual spending regardless of economic circumstances or negative eventualities.

It should also consider a possible reduction in the number of municipalities.

10. Good Governance.

Public administrations must banish forever cronyism and and replace it with transparency, professionalism and meritocracy.

Daniel Dixon