• Catalan Budget and Deficit for 2010 and 2011

    The Catalan Government's budget and the Spanish Government's investment within Catalonia are the subject of constant debate. Catalonia has a GDP per capita higher than the Spanish average. Therefore, considering regional solidarity, Catalonia brings more money to Spain's treasury than the money it gets back. However, many voices in Catalonia have complained that the difference between what it gives and what it gets back is too high. It is known as the fiscal deficit.

    The Spanish Government has recognised an annual fiscal deficit between 6% and 9% of Catalonia's GDP (depending on the calculation formula), although some studies in Catalonia set the fiscal deficit between 8% and 12%. A fiscal deficit of 9% means that Catalonia gives around 18 billion euros per year to the rest of Spain. The Catalan Government had a public deficit of 4.2% in 2010, some 8.3 billion euros. For 2011, the Catalan Government expects a deficit of 2.66%, representing some 5.4 billion euros. However, the Spanish Government owes more than 2.2 billion euros corresponding to the 2011 budget that it refuses to pay. The Catalan Government has already cut its expenditure by 10%, but stated it cannot go further without affecting the Welfare State's basic services. The Autonomous Community governments are in charge of public healthcare, education and social services, and manage some 40% of Spain's entire public expenditure. If the Spanish Government pays the Catalan Executive the money for the annual Competitiveness Fund (1.45 billion euros) this 2011, as well as the legal compensation for a recognised historical lack of investment in Catalonia (between 0.8 and 1.2 billion euros this year), Catalonia would be only lacking 200 million euros to reach the 1.3% deficit objective for 2011. The Catalan Government expects the Spanish Executive to fulfil its legal obligations and pay for what it owes according to the law. In addition, Barcelona expects some institutional loyalty by Madrid and the transfer of some real estate assets that would compensate this remaining 200 million euros. Some key figures: - On average, Catalonia's fiscal deficit represents 9% of its GDP each year, some 18 billion euros. - The Catalan Government is responsible for some 40% of public expenditure, and is in charge of healthcare, education and social services. - The Autonomous Communities are responsible for 17% of Spain's public debt. - In 2010, Catalonia had a public deficit of 4.2%, representing around 8.3 billion euros. - In 2011, the Catalan Government has forecasted a maximum public deficit of 2.66%, which could be drastically reduced if the Spanish Government pays for two items that it legally owes but refuses to pay in 2011.
Alícia Sánchez-Camacho (dressed in fucsia) talking to the Catalan President (bottom right) (by O. Campuzano)

15.02.12 - 23:00

The Catalan Parliament approves the 2012 budget with the abstention of the People’s Party

As agreed, the PP abstained during the vote on the Catalan Government’s budget for 2012. The final text was approved with the 62 votes from CiU MPs, which controls the Catalan Government, the one vote from an independent MP, and the abstention...
The Catalan Minister for the Economy, Andreu Mas-Colell (by ACN)

04.02.12 - 13:35

Catalonia misses 2011 public deficit target but Government confident will meet this year’s objective of 1.3%

The Catalan Government has announced the deficit for last year was 3.29%, short of the 2.66% target set by Barcelona. The Catalan Minister for the Economy, Andreu Mas-Colell, has praised citizens for having tightened their purse strings, and says...
The Catalan Finance Minister (left) and the Spanish Finance Minister (right) (by R. Pi de Cabanyes)

17.01.12 - 23:48

The Autonomies and the Spanish Government agree on a set of measures to guarantee the deficit commitment and liquidity

The Spanish Government stressed that no Autonomous Government will be left disappointed if they have a “responsible” attitude and have an austerity plan in place. However, those failing these measures could be intervened the same way “the...
The Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell (by R. Garrido)

12.01.12 - 23:11

Regional governments are responsible for less than 20% of Spain’s debt and for 33% of its 2011 deficit

In the last number of weeks, regional governments in Spain have been taking the blame for the deficit, and in the past week have done so at an international level. However, Spain’s Central Government is responsible for 63% of the country’s...
The PP's President in Catalonia, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, showing the agreement's document (by P. Mateos)

14.02.12 - 23:49

CiU and the PP reach a final agreement to approve the Catalan Budget

The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which controls the Catalan Government, and the People’s Party (PP), the third political party in Catalonia’s Parliament, have agreed to reduce some of the fees from the original proposal,...
Representatatives from a wide spectrum of the Catalan civil society chaired the meeting (by J. R. Torné)

01.02.12 - 20:54

Catalan civil society asks for a new fiscal agreement with Spain

Catalonia gives away between 8% and 9% of its GDP every year. The main actors in Catalan civil society got together to formally push for a new fiscal agreement with Spain, through which Catalonia would continue transferring money to poorer Spanish...
The PP leader in Catalonia, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, at this Monday's press conference (by M. Bélmez)

17.01.12 - 00:00

Barriers are lifted for an agreement with the People’s Party to approve the Catalan Government’s budget

The People’s Party (PP) has taken back its parliamentary motions against the Catalan Government’s Budget proposal. The Government is run by the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition ‘Convergència i Unió’ (CiU). The PP’s leader in...
Spanish VP Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría before this Thursday's press conference (by La Moncloa / ACN)

05.01.12 - 22:02

Catalonia rejects the Spanish Government’s proposal to approve the Autonomies’ budget in advance

The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government has said that the new Spanish Economy Minister’s proposal goes against the Constitution and Catalonia’s self-governance. The Basque Country is also against the measure announced by Luís de Guindos...
Tourists in Barcelona's Les Rambles (by ACN)

08.02.12 - 15:22

CiU and PP agree on postponing the tourist tax and limiting the drug prescription fee

The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition ‘CiU’, which runs the Catalan Government, is close to reaching an agreement with the Conservative People’s Party (PP) on this year’s budget. They have been negotiating over the past number of...
The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs, on Tuesday's press conference (by P. Mateos)

31.01.12 - 23:09

The Catalan Government declares the tender to sell 26 buildings for €450 millions null and void

The lack of satisfactory offers has forced the Catalan Government to postpone its plan of selling several buildings off for cheap and losing money. Selling real estate assets is one of the ways the Catalan Government hopes to increase revenue and...
The Spanish Vice President and Government's Spokesperson Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría (by R. Pi de Cabanyes)

13.01.12 - 23:26

The Spanish Government will set a spending limit and sanctions for Autonomies that do not meet the deficit objectives

Catalonia already approved its own spending limit through a law of its own last September. The Spanish Vice President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, explained that the new Budget Stability and Sustainability Law will introduce “mechanism...
The President of the Catalan Parliament, De Gispert, receives the USB stick with the Catalan budget from Mas-Colell (P. Mateos)

20.12.11 - 22:54

The Catalan Government budget for 2012 fulfils the 1.3% deficit objective by increasing taxes, selling assets and reducing public sector salaries

The Catalan Government will reduce department expenditure by 3.8%, public sector prices will increase and real estate assets will be sold. In addition, a symbolic tourist tax and a universal fee for each drug prescription will be introduced. The...
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