Left-wing parties unite to increase social spending in Spain

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Socialist minority government has agreed with an anti-austerity party to raise the country’s minimum wage and increase taxes for the rich if next year’s national budgets get parliamentary approval.

Passing the 2019 national budget is seen as a key step for Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s plans to remain in office until the current term ends in 2020.

His Socialist and the far-left Podemos lawmakers will still need to enlist support from small and regional parties to pass the budget proposal in the 350-seat lower house of parliament.

The monthly minimum wage will rise to 900 euros ($1,039) from 736 euros currently if the spending plan goes ahead. The plan would also increase income and estate taxes to wealthy families and allow local governments to regulate the house renting market.

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