The up 140,000 million euros that Spain will receive of the European Commission are an opportunity to transform our country, but also a threat that can deteriorate it.

On the one hand, there is a risk that we guide our productive structure to projects with low added value whose only attraction is that they are politically subsidized: as we already explained in this other article, the influence that senior bureaucrats, regional barons and business ‘lobbies’ are going to exert on the Government can end in a massive capture of rents that destroys value in instead of creating it.

But, on the other hand, the 140,000 million euros also represent a financial risk for our country. Although it seems strange that a transfer of these characteristics can end negatively impacting In our financial situation, there is a way through which this can certainly happen: that we consolidate part of this extraordinary increase in spending in the form of new ordinary disbursements within our public administrations. To the extent that this transfer serves as an excuse for skyrocket structural public spending Without, at the same time, having new items of structural income, we run the risk of increasing our equally structural deficit.

In this sense, AIReF published a few weeks ago an estimate from which parts of the Recovery, Transition and Resilience Plan they are liable to become structural increases in public spending. Y the conclusions are certainly worrying.

Thus, between the items that exhibit high risk from becoming structural spending, we find: 10. Just energy transition strategy (300 million euros); 11. Modernization of public administrations (4,315 million euros); 17. Institutional reform and capacity building of the national science, technology and innovation system (3,380 million euros); 18. Renewal and expansion of the capacities of the National Health System (1,069 million euros); 19. National Plan for Digital Skills (3,593 million euros); 20. National Plan to Promote Vocational Training (2,076 million euros); 21. Modernization and digitization of the education system, including early education from zero to three years (1,648 million euros); 22. Shock plan for the care economy and reinforcement of inclusion policies (2,492 million euros), and 23. New public policies for a dynamic, resilient and inclusive labor market (2,363 million euros). In total, we are talking about a high risk that structural spending increased by 21,236 million euros per year, about 1.8% of GDP.

Photo: Construction of the Duero Highway in Venta Nueva.  (DB)

But, in addition, there are other games in which there is a Medium risk increase in structural spending: 3. Environmental and digital transformation of the agri-food and fishing system (1,051 million euros); 5. Preservation of the coastal area and water resources (2,091 million euros); 12. Industrial policy Spain 2030 (3,782 million euros); 13. Boost to SMEs (4,894 million euros); 14. Modernization and competitiveness plan for the tourism sector (3,400 million euros); 24. Revaluation of the cultural industry (325 million euros); 25. Spain’s audiovisual hub for Europe (200 million euros), and 26. Plan to promote the sports sector (300 million euros). In total, then, there is a medium risk that structural spending increase by another 16,043 million euros per year.

In short, the Recovery, Transition and Resilience Plan It could trigger the structural spending of public administrations between 21,000 and 37,000 million euros a year (between 1.8% and 3% of GDP). In order to be able to regularly pay such a magnitude of new disbursements, it will be necessary increase taxes by a similar amount: the problem is that, in theory, the expected tax increases of such an amount should have been aimed at alleviate the structural deficit that we suffer right now. But if the intention is to continue feeding public spending above current structural levels, how far will future ones have to go? fiscal rejonazos on families and companies Spanish? I am very afraid that we will begin to find out after the commission of experts for the reform of the tax system publishes its dangerous recommendations.

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