catalan budget

Spanish Government rejects reviewing strict 2016 deficit targets for Autonomous Communities

July 30, 2015 09:44 AM | ACN

Despite the fact that all the Autonomous Community governments that are not run by the People's Party (PP) requested the Spanish Executive  – run by the PP – to allow them a greater deficit in 2016 and that Spain's independent fiscal authority Airef also recommended granting regional governments greater deficit targets for next year, the Spanish Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro, has rejected doing so. In 2016, the Autonomous Communities will have to close their budgets with less than a 0.3% deficit, "an absurd" and "unrealistic" figure according to the Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, who was recently awarded an honorary PhD in Economics by the University of Chicago. The Catalan Government asked for a 0.88% deficit target for 2016. Besides this, next year the Catalan Executive will receive €1.2 billion that should have already been transferred by the Spanish Executive but was not, due to Montoro's tax revenue miscalculations. In addition to this, since economic activity is growing, the Spanish Government will increase the Catalan Executive's funds by €700 million each year from 2016 onwards.

Sweden and Australia to be models for Catalonia's own Treasury

July 27, 2015 10:04 PM | ACN

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, presented on Monday the model for Catalonia's own Treasury, which will be developed should "the political conditions" be there, he stated. "This is the most serious attempt to build our own Treasury in the last 300 years", stressed Mas. "After two years of work, we are ready" to launch and Catalans should not waste "this great opportunity", he stressed. "Without our own Treasury, there is no real self-government", the Catalan President stated. The system would include Catalonia's own Tax Agency and  is inspired by the taxation authorities in countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Australia, which prioritise cooperation with taxpayers over controlling them. In these models, efforts are concentrated on severely persecuting tax evaders and underground economy, while the vast majority of tax-payers who deal correctly with their fiscal obligations receive assistance and have unlimited access to their fiscal data.

Catalan Government warns about "extreme" liquidity situation and accuses Spanish Executive of financial "asphyxia"

May 27, 2015 01:03 AM | ACN

The Catalan Government has sent another warning message about its lack of liquidity, which depends on the Spanish Executive’s regular transfers since most taxes are collected by Madrid-based services. The Catalan Minister for the Presidency, Francesc Homs, accused the Spanish Government of "deliberate asphyxia" and asked the rest of the Catalan parties to "pool together" to denounce the situation. According to Homs, such financial asphyxia will affect everything except salaries. All Catalan Government departments will be affected and their payments to service providers will be delayed. The Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, already warned about this financial asphyxia on previous occasions. In the coming days, Mas-Colell will meet with the rest of the parties to discuss the situation. However, the Spanish Finance Ministry rejects the accusation and has stated that it has made all the pending transfers.

BBVA studies question Spain's inter-territorial fiscal scheme, which funds the regional governments

May 6, 2015 01:26 AM | ACN

The Autonomous Community governments, such as the Catalan Executive, cannot meet the deficit objectives imposed by the Spanish Government because of the current inter-territorial fiscal scheme, according to a report from the Spanish banking giant BBVA. The bank has published two studies on two consecutive days that shed some light on this scheme and its consequences. In the first report, the BBVA states that spending per capita on basic Welfare State services, such as healthcare and education, varies by 60% among the Autonomous Communities. A second report highlights that the Spanish Executive reduced the funds for the Autonomous Community governments in 2014, despite the economic situation and the intake of public revenue improving. On top of this, it refuses to review a fiscal scheme that legally expired 16 months ago and that was designed before the financial crisis.

Catalan Government starts refunding drug prescription fee after Constitutional Court ban

April 29, 2015 10:09 PM | ACN

The fee that was temporarily charged on each drug prescription in Catalonia between June 2012 and January 2013 has started to be refunded by the Catalan Government, after the Constitutional Court definitively banned it in May 2014. The decision came after an appeal from the Spanish Government, despite the People Party (PP) initially having supported the measure in spring 2012. However, after the Catalan Government started to back independence from Spain in autumn 2012, the PP decided to oppose the drug prescription fee. The measure had been adopted to reduce pharmaceutical spending, with the final goal being to reduce public deficit. In the short period the fee was in place, €45.7 million was directly earned but much more was saved, since drug spending dropped by around 23%. According to the Catalan Government's calculations, so far 100,000 euros has already been returned to approximately 5,000 people and about €6 million will be returned in total. So far, 300,000 people have filed the request, with an average of €20 per person.