Catalonia's record-breaking 2024 budget: key points at a glance

Spending tops €43bn, with focus on education, health and drought

Catalan Economy minister Natàlia Mas Guix presents the budget proposal to Parliament speaker Anna Erra
Catalan Economy minister Natàlia Mas Guix presents the budget proposal to Parliament speaker Anna Erra / Mariona Puig
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

February 28, 2024 03:27 PM

February 28, 2024 03:27 PM

The Catalan government, led by pro-independence Esquerra, today approved the budget proposal for 2024, which will be voted on in Parliament in mid-March.

While the budget has yet to be approved and Esquerra, along with the Socialists, needs a third partner to pass it, the details of the accounts were released today.

The 2024 budget is expected to be the most expansive in history, increasing by 6.3% to €43 billion compared to last year's budget. 

Health will receive the largest share, with an additional €636 million bringing the total to €12 billion, followed by education with an additional €682 million to reach €7.5 billion. 

Spending on culture will see the highest percentage increase, at 19.5%, reaching €566 million and now representing 1.7% of the total budget. Esquerra aims to reach the 2% target by the end of its term. 

Since Catalan president Pere Aragonès took office in 2021, the budget has increased by 34%. The government attributes the increase to the robust economy and the suspension of fiscal rules. 

Social spending, by contrast, has declined slightly from last year's budget and now accounts for 72.6%. This includes areas such as health, social rights, education, and housing.

According to government sources, the decrease in the share of social spending is due to the increase in debt interest and the rise in spending on water policy to combat drought.

Catalonia is experiencing the worst drought in its history, and the 2024 budget allocates €1 billion for drought relief, of which €327 million will be used to expand and maintain water recycling and desalination plants.

The budget also includes €3 billion for infrastructure investment, €2 billion for public transport and €1 billion for research and development.