Friday, June 9

Treasury rules out a transitory fund until regional financing is agreed

The Ministry of Hacienda will not arbitrate compensation fund for the underfunded communities, although the reform of the new system will not be addressed during this legislature. There will be no patches despite the fact that the start of the electoral cycle, which begins with the elections in Castilla y León on 13F and ends in the general elections, has spread the feeling that the agreement on regional financing will be delayed. The tension inherent in this process -in 2022 there will also be elections in Andalusia- and the lack of communication between the Executive and the PP make it difficult to renew the model.

Aware of all these complications, two of the worst financed regions, Andalusia and the Valencian Community they demanded a transitory “leveling” fund, until the entry into force of the new system. At a meeting in Seville last September, Juanma Moreno Y Ximo Puig They encrypted it in 1.7 billion annual, for these two communities and Murcia.

even the expert Angel of the Fountain, from Fedea (Foundation for Applied Economics Studies) and the Institute of Economic Analysis of the CSIC, raised a document with this proposal last November. I already assumed, with no horizon yet of called elections, that “we are very far” from a consensus between territories and parties and that it is “unlikely” that an agreement will be reached to include it in the General State Budgets of 2023, if there are any, what. pointed out, invites us to think that “the long-awaited reform can materialize before the next legislature”.

For this reason, he proposed a new fund that would “supplement” the income of the communities financed below the average, which would be launched “immediately”, with disbursements already in 2022. Almost 2,600 million euros that would be distributed not only among the Valencian Community, Andalusia, Murcia but also between Castilla la Mancha, the four autonomies with the worst financing.

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This text developed the intervention of De la Fuente in a conference of the Rifde (Network of Researchers in Autonomous Financing and Financial Decentralization of Spain) in Santiago de Compostela, that same month, in which representatives of several autonomies participated. And in this forum, according to territorial sources, the rest of the regions refused.

Opposition from other communities

There was already a precedent for this opposition in the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council of July. There the Minister of Finance, Maria Jesus MonteroAs she herself related in an intervention in Congress, she announced an additional and extraordinary fund of 13,486 million for the autonomies in the 2021 budgets to increase their liquidity and face the economic consequences of covid. And he proposed to vote that part of that money be allocated directly to alleviate the regions worst treated by the financing system. “I raised the vote and do you know who objected? Mr. Lasquetty, from the Community of Madrid, because he did not agree that there was a specific fund,” he said.

This, according to the Ministry, prevents the idea of ​​a compensation fund from coming to fruition because it is “politically unfeasible” by the refusal of the rest of autonomies. However, sources from the regions that would benefit, maintain that “it is an exclusive decision of the Government, which it could take even without going through the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council.” This means, they add, that “it would not have to be put to the vote.” “It would be the fastest solution.”

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Despite them, sources from the Executive consider it totally ruled out. Due to the lack of consensus, and because, in addition, they wield, at this time no autonomy has a financing problem. In November, they point out, in all of them there was a budget “surplus” because they have had more income than expenses. Furthermore, the chief executive, Pedro Sanchez, at the last Conference of Presidents, committed itself to the communities “they will not lack” funds to deal with the pandemic, which means that there would be new deliveries if the pandemic worsened.

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