The Catalan Government’s budget will be 10% smaller in 2011
The President of the Catalan Government Artur Mas said that his Cabinet would reduce the Government’s budget for 2011 by 10% in order to cut public deficit. Speaking at the Catalan Parliament today, Mas accused the Spanish Government of not having paid 1.000 million euros last year as agreed. “It is very easy to cut their own deficit by creating deficit to other administrations”, he emphasised.
Barcelona (ACN).- The President of the Catalan Government Artur Mas explained the structure of the new administration to the Catalan Parliament and stressed that the first priority be approving an austere budget for 2011. Mas announced that the budget would be 10% smaller than in 2010, in order to reduce last year\u2019s 7.000 million euros of deficit. With regard to the controversy in the last few days, Mas accused the Spanish Government of contributing to Catalonia\u2019s deficit by not paying part of Catalonia\u2019s agreed funding. Mas said the Spanish Government owed 1,000 million euros to Catalonia. This money should have come from the planned competitiveness fund of the Spanish Government for the Autonomous Communities, for which 10.000 million euros are globally allocated. The Spanish Government decided that part of its expenditure cutting was thanks to this fund, which was emptied, worsening the funding of the Autonomous Communities.
Mas announced that his Government is negotiating to restore this fund and recuperate the 1.000 million euros that were promised to Catalonia. The absence of this money is one of the reasons for the Catalan deficit increase. The others are the decrease of tax revenues due to the crisis and an increase in healthcare expenditure. In 2010, the Catalan Government\u2019s deficit was about 7.000 million euros, which is 3.6% of Catalonia\u2019s annual GDP.
Mas accused the Spanish Government of worsening Catalonia\u2019s funding and making the Catalan Government increase its own deficit in order to reduce the Spanish Government\u2019s. \u201CIt is very easy to cut their own deficit by creating deficit to other administrations\u201D, emphasised Mas. \u201CIn order for the [Spanish] State to make a good impression, the rest of us have to make a bad one\u201D, insisted Mas. \u201CFaced with this, we need to defend ourselves, because what is ours is ours. We have the right to claim that what has been already been agreed on must be done\u201D, he added.
The Catalan President also explained that he would order each one of his Government\u2019s ministries to only spend 30% of this year\u2019s budget, until the new budget for 2011 was approved. In fact, the current budget for 2011 is a prolongation of the 2010 one.