The Fegamp admits that the new water law of the Xunta will not increase the receipt


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Reverse. The Galician Federation of municipalities and provinces now admits that the future law to improve the management of the integral water cycle will not lead to an increase in the bill. “There is indeed a wrong interpretation” for its part, recognizes Fegamp, “in the previous calculation” made by Fegamp, “regarding the application of the prices of the sections” of the management fees of sewage treatment plants and network operation of collectors, “in relation to the fact that prices are applied by consumption segments and not on consumption as a whole, applying the maximum.”

At the end of last September, the Regional Minister of Infrastructure and Mobility, Ethel Vázquez, warned the federation chaired by the mayor of Vilagarcía de Arousa, the socialist Alberto Varela, that they had made “bulk errors” in the “calculations” that supported their allegations, in which they gave a route to the accusation of other institutions (Vigo City Council, Pontevedra Provincial Council) that, with the preliminary draft that is expected to go to the Council of the Xunta this autumn, the Galician Government was going to apply a ‘great price’ in water management.

As ABC has learned, Fegamp recoils as a result of a technical meeting with Augas de Galicia, held on October 20, and after a conversation, last week, between Varela and Vázquez. In this meeting of a technical nature, convened by the existing “divergences” “on the economic impact of the rates of the new canons”, as well as their effect on current rates (sanitation and purification), the data were “put in common” of both, and after half a month it transpires that the municipalism concludes that their accounts were wrong.

The discourse of the “rises”

To the “surprise” of the Xunta, as the Minister of Infrastructure admitted to the press, a “constructive” meeting was followed by a press release, issued on September 24 by Fegamp, where there was talk of “concern in the councils, especially in the smallest, who might be unable to afford the required investments ”; and “concern” about “the rise in the water bill”, giving way to those accusations amplified by Abel Caballero or Carmela Silva. In addition, the four Provincial Councils denounced “interference in their powers and responsibility” towards the councils of less than 20,000 inhabitants.

“If required [subir el recibo] it may be justified, but things have to be explained well and see what the objectives would be achieved with those increases, “added the note. La Fegamp referred to an «estimate» of its technicians, according to which for a family of three members, with a consumption of around 39 m3, «the bill would increase by around 60%».

Just a few days later, Ethel Vázquez appeared to regret Fegamp’s position and show her astonishment at these “important errors” in the face of something that, she said, “was perfectly explained” in the meeting she and Varela had led. However, he explained to the media, those calculations that drew a substantial increase in the bill added “rates that are mutually exclusive”, because “two rates cannot tax the same thing”; “It does not apply the corresponding tariff sections”; and, finally, it was decided to choose a “council as a type for all of Galicia”, something, he reproached, “totally incorrect.”

Vázquez then insisted that “the law does not create new rates”, but rather “reorders and regulates existing ones.” The water treatment plant management fee replaces the discharge coefficient; and the network management fee, which the council had been charging, the same as in the case of the supply fee. That is, the regional tax will replace the municipal tax, but it will not be taxed twice for the same concept, for all those councils that want to take advantage of the tool that the Xunta will launch, totally voluntary.

The strangeness that the head of Infrastructure moved a little over a month ago was directly proportional to the good climate of the previous meeting with Fegamp. “They understood the objectives of the law, and that it fundamentally helps the small councils,” he said. Moreover, some of the actors represented in the federation had conveyed that they see the future rule as “really positive” and “recognized the benefits” that it will bring to the smaller municipalities and, therefore, without the capacity to assume this management.

Problems with the new rates

Fegamp, in its conclusions to the technical meeting, does not see major setbacks in the new purification fee, but sees more problems in the case of the exploitation of collector networks, considering that “it cannot be determined” whether it “replaces tariff level at 100% of the current amount to the current municipal sanitation canon ». The federation understands that “it will depend on each specific case”, but adds, as an additional problem, that “some councils collect joint sanitation and purification”.

Additionally, municipalities consider it incorrect to indicate that the impact of the new purification fee will be less than one euro per month. In the cases in which Augas de Galicia is currently assuming the operation of the treatment plants, they consider that there will be a “small alteration” of 90 cents per month, for a house of three people and 10 cubic meters of consumption.

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