Next Spanish labour reform to make hiring easier: Guindos

Unemployment rate remains over 25 per cent

MADRID (Reuters) – An impending Spanish labour reform, the second under the current conservative government, will simplify the hiring process and make part-time contracts more flexible, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on Saturday.

"It will perfect what we did in the first labour reform, which had a very positive reception ... and helped to modify the perception (abroad) of the Spanish economy," Guindos told reporters after a conference.

The ruling People's Party (PP) implemented a labour market reform in 2012 that dramatically cut firing costs and allowed companies more flexibility with workforces in times of crisis.

Unemployment has come down slightly but is still over 25 per cent as Spain struggles to emerge from the crash that followed a prolonged housing boom, which left banks and consumers saddled with debt.

An overhaul of the tax system is also slated for next year. It is expected to widen the income tax base by scrapping exemptions, or possibly reducing the number of tax brackets.

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