What is the single Social Security fund and why do Catalonia and the Basque Country want to manage it?


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Every agreement has a price, and among ERC’s requests to the Government to support the Budgets is that of breaking the single Social Security box. Specifically, it gives a period of six months to the Government for the “transfer of the management of unemployment benefits and subsidies to the Generalitat”. The independence formation highlights in the text that “the system will consist of the transfer of competences in passive employment policies, benefits and unemployment subsidies to the Generalitat so that said administrationwill comprehensively manage employment policies »in Catalonia. In addition, they also ask for the budget associated with this item.

It is a request similar to the agreement reached by the Government and the Basque Country last February, in which the latter will have the management of Social Security before the end of 2021. Even so, as he remarked at the time the spokesman for the Government in the region, Josu Erkoreka, was not about “its own, autonomous and independent Social Security”. That is, in principle, it achieves the economic, material and personal means of the system, but without questioning its unity. Although the parties deny it, this fact lays the foundations for achieving a Basque Social Security, one of the wishes of the PNV.

The Guernica Statute declares the Basque Country competent to manage the economic regime, but it must also be remembered that the 1978 Constitution proclaims the single box unit from the public institute. This unit establishes that the Social Security Treasury is the “sole fund of the system” and “will carry out the liquidation and collection management of its resources, as well as the concepts of joint collection with Social Security contributions” .

Thus, the Social Security Treasury is the one that collects all contributions in the country. Then distributes them equally according to the type of benefit regardless of the beneficiary’s region of residence.

With the transfer of management, Catalonia and the Basque Country could represent the beginning of the breakdown of the solidarity mechanism between generations and regions. Both communities are among those with the greatest deficit and it is precisely thanks to solidarity between regions that benefits can be paid. But if the single fund is to be broken, both regions could impose pension supplements that would serve as a great political weapon with which to make their independence wishes come true.

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