The Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, presented yesterday in the Congress of Deputies the small print of the General State Budgets for 2022, the highest spending in history, inflated by the millionaire injection of European funds. They are accounts that are born with feet of clay since they trust their income forecasts to have an economic growth of 7%, much higher than the one estimated this week by the IMF (6.4%), or the one expected by the Bank from Spain (5.9%). The lower strength of activity may also throw the spending figures out of balance, as more resources have to be allocated to unemployment and therefore ruin the planned deficit reduction objectives.
The Budgets include one-off tax increases, with little collection capacity, but which send a clear message of where the Government’s fiscal policy is advancing. Setting a minimum effective rate of 15% in the Corporation tax to enter just 400 million euros, when this same measure is being negotiated at the level of the OECD only serves to scare away investment. The same happened with the Google rate, with which much less has been collected than expected. These are measures that must be taken at the international level to avoid unfair competition among the developed countries themselves. But here we prefer to boast that we are ahead.
Less economic sense and much more ideological burden has the furious attack on private savings for retirement. For the second consecutive year the Government has reduced the limit of individual contributions to pension plans, private or employment, which has remained at 1,500 euros per year compared to 8,000 in 2019. In the same year in which the State will have to transfer more than 40,000 million euros to Social Security to be able to face the payment of pensions, making it clear that the system will only be able to survive with adjustments that will cut benefits in the future, instead of encouraging workers to save to compensate for that Public pension, as is done in most of the countries around us, here the opposite path is taken.
In terms of spending, the Minister of Finance boasted that they will be the accounts of “investment, investment and investment.” And so it should be if we manage to execute and make good use of the more than 27,000 million euros that we will receive from Europe. Spain is at stake in this recovery. But these budgets are also going to be those of the subsidy, the subsidy and the subsidy. The President of the Government has already been in charge of announcing bonds to young people for culture, for rent … in a clear wink to attract a sector of the population that is increasingly distant from the PSOE.
And now, after overcoming its first stumbling block, reaching the agreement of the two government partners – in exchange for yielding the Socialists on housing and allowing the autonomies to cap rental prices – the accounts begin their parliamentary journey. The Executive has already indicated its intention to negotiate the budgets with the parties that supported Sánchez’s inauguration. The support, ERC has already warned, will not be free. At the very least, it will cost all Spaniards billions of euros in investment to reward some territories over others. And if not, let them tell Madrid, which will receive half the investment of Catalonia. But the demands of the nationalists will not only be economic, but also political to keep their nationalist blackmail alive. That’s for sure.