The tripartite that governs the Ponferrada City Council -PSOE, Podemos and Coalición por el Bierzo (CB) – has obtained this Monday the support of the two councilors of the Bierzo Regionalist Party (PRB) to carry out the municipal budget for the year 2021, some accounts that amount to a value of 62.5 million euros, five percent more than the previous budget. It is a “forward-looking” budget, which increases social spending by 20 percent to face the situation caused by the pandemic, according to the councilor of Haciencia and spokesperson for the PSOE, Mabel Fernández.
At the beginning of the debate, the mayor of the city, Olegario Ramón, has shelled out the general lines of accounts based on principles such as the “control of public spending” and “efficiency in municipal management” but they do not renounce to “important increases” in chapters such as investment items and social spending, with an increase of 435,000 euros in terms of Social Welfare and new help lines to sectors such as commerce and hospitality.
At a time when the pandemic forces to “order scarce resources to face unlimited needs ”, Ramón stressed that the new accounts boost social protection and economic reactivation hand in hand with the increase in investments by the municipal administration and the development of an innovative tourism model that promotes the capital of Bercia as a sustainable and smart destination.
“Anchored in the past”
Among the opposition groups, the PP spokesman, Marco Morala, has stressed that “these are not the budgets that Ponferrada needs” and has regretted that the approved accounts are “anchored in the past” and do not face the challenges caused by the health crisis. For her part, the spokesperson for Ciudadanos (Cs), Ruth Morales, has indicated that the accounts lack “sensitivity” regarding the economic sectors most affected by the pandemic, through fiscal measures such as the reduction of the Real Estate Tax ( IBI) or the garbage collection rate, as well as a moratorium on local taxes for newly created companies.
On behalf of USE Bierzo, the spokesman Samuel Folgueral, has regretted the “low height” of some beads that in his opinion they do not address the “extreme situation” that the city is experiencing.
On the part of the groups that voted in favor of the budget project, Podemos spokesperson, Lorena González, has been critical of the negotiations that have illuminated the project approved today. “Both the forms and the background could have been better”, has pointed out. The CB spokesman, Iván Alonso, has valued that the budget includes aid to economic sectors such as local commerce and local hospitality.
Among the support for the budget project, the favorable vote of the PRB has surprised, whose spokesman, Tarsicio Carballo, has appealed to “responsibility” to justify his position. “This is not going to be a blank check”, The regionalist leader has warned, who has advanced that he will monitor compliance with the Government team’s commitments.