The Minister of Finance has offered a press conference this morning with the expert appointed by the Community, the university professor José Carlos Sánchez de la Vega, to explain the main conclusions of the report, which was officially presented to the Vice President of the Government on Wednesday. Soraya Sáez de Santamaría, and the Minister of Finance and Public Function, Cristóbal Montoro, who will take the Council of Ministers on Friday.
Sánchez de la Vega explained that the Commission recognizes in its report the financial difficulties that communities endure during the years of the current system, in which it has produced a deep economic crisis, so that the resources of the financing system do not allow financing a coverage of the needs as agreed in 2009.
All administrations have experienced a fall in their tax revenues and the autonomies have had more difficulties as a result, first of all, of the reduced ability to influence their tax revenues compared to the Central Administration; and, secondly, because their skills are linked to the maintenance of health, education and assistance services, to which they dedicate close to 90 percent of the resources of the current model and 75 percent of their total expenses.
To correct this situation of imbalance, the Commission proposes the creation of an autonomous section of VAT and Special Taxes, on which the communities would have normative capacity jointly, a measure that would contribute to reinforce the fiscal co-responsibility of the system.
ADDITIONAL STATE TRANSFER
Likewise, the experts raise the possibility of an additional transfer of the State and the regional communities. The participation of the Basque Country and Navarre in interterritorial leveling would also correct the equity problem derived from the high differences in financing of these communities with respect to those of the common system.
Sánchez de la Vega highlighted how the current system has generated differences in financing per inhabitant, for which the experts propose the elimination of the ‘status quo’ guarantee, and recommend, to avoid difficulties, that in the base year of the new model no community lose resources in absolute terms with respect to what was obtained with the previous model, and the differences in financing derived from the ‘status quo’ disappear progressively and within the period of validity of the new financing system.
The Minister stressed that “the report presented by the experts includes all the agreements adopted by the Regional Assembly as a result of the monographic debate on regional financing that took place in the Chamber on March 2.”
He also highlighted “the commitment” made by the vice president and the minister yesterday “to work decisively on the approval of a new model that is based on the report presented and that ends at last with funding inequalities.”
Carrillo affirmed that “the Region faces the process with constructive will but with the requirement that Murcia receive the same resources as the rest” and has appealed to “a great consensus among all the regions based on the objective criteria proposed by the experts.” “
NEW DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM BETWEEN COMMUNITIES
The experts also advocate a simpler and more transparent leveling model that ends with the complex system of funds and rules of distribution of the current system. Specifically, the report proposes to base the new model on the Basic Financing Fund, to be distributed among the communities based on the population criterion, and the Vertical Leveling Fund, to reduce the deviations of funding per capita.
Sánchez de la Vega commented, in relation to the treatment of accumulated debts during the 2009-2016 period, that the report proposes the restructuring of the communities’ debt with the State, in a transparent manner and assisted by the Bank of Spain and by the Independent Authority of Fiscal Responsibility (Airef), and even the possibility of mutualising the part of the debt owed to the State that is attributable to the underfunding of the communities.