Consell to seek 1,500 million leveling fund from Government over inadequate funding

Consell will request that the Government transfer approximately $1,500 million a year to the Valencian Community to compensate for the underfunding caused by autonomy. The ultimate goal remains the reform of the distribution model, but given the possibility that this will not happen in the short term, Finance Minister Ruth Merino and the commission of financing experts decided at a meeting this Thursday. It should follow a pragmatic path and “prioritize” the inclusion of a stabilization fund in the next General State Budget. Debt amnesty and the conditions to be sought for this discount were another issue discussed at the meeting.

This Thursday, Carlos Mazón’s new Council convened the council of financing experts for the first time. The call came at a time when the system reform debate was at the forefront of national political news, and so Merinos asked experts to “refresh and update” the reports and data they had produced in previous years. and this confirms these complaints about autonomy.

The councilor criticized the Government for pushing away the possibility of agreement on reforming the system, arguing that communities must reach an agreement, and demanded “political will” to take the first step and submit a proposal. Until that comes, Merino stated that Consell will “do his job” and therefore called for experts to attend the next appointments with the ministry with “precise data”.

The first screen will be to fight for the balancing fund, which the Valencian Community has already applied for in recent years, an instrument whose implementation will compensate for the fewer resources that the autonomy of the financing system takes. According to Merinos, the amount requested will be around 1.5 billion.

The Treasury chief highlighted how reforming the system was a “complex” challenge and that “you need to be brave” because of the difficulty of getting all regions to agree. It is “a matter of political will”.

Assuring that the request would be met, Merino said: “After the disappointment of seeing that there is no intention to address the reform of the system, the Valencian Community needs a temporary stabilization fund equal to the average unless the system is reformed.” It must be done “officially” in front of “what is necessary”.

Experts advocate forgiveness

Ivie’s director, Francisco Pérez, explained the position of the commission of experts after the meeting. As he noted, three issues that this group covered in its 2017 report and now want to update “are still on the table: financing system reform, equalization fund and debt forgiveness.”

Pérez agreed with Merino that the “easiest” thing to achieve is the grading fund, but the commission will also work on two other points.

Neither Merino nor Pérez wanted to estimate how much this reduction should be in the case of Valencia. The councilor attributed this to the lack of clarity on the conditions proposed by the Government for this reduction negotiated with Catalonia, although it could be extended to all autonomies.

But the expert gave more clues. As he assured, not only the effects of the reduction in income caused by the great crisis of 2008 (which in the case of Valencia will require the forgiveness of around 10,000 million euros) but also the relative under-financing of Valencia C will be taken into account. .

The last leg that needs to be updated. Pérez said the estimate would be announced “in the coming weeks”, although the Ivie director himself had estimated it at another 17,000 million euros just a month ago. The total forgivable figure would be at least around 27,000 million.

Pérez stated that before giving a specific number, a “consensus” would be sought among the commission members, something he identified as key to ensuring that the conclusions of these experts are subsequently adopted by all political groups.

Whatever the final figure is, it doesn’t appear Vox will confirm it. Mazón’s partner in Consell is the only party to break the consensus on this issue. Financing is not on his platform, and recently Vice President Vicente Barrera made clear that his party rejects the reduction.

Regarding this position, Pérez defended Valencia’s donation because there is no such thing as “moral hazard”, meaning it rewards those who spend more than they earn. “The reason the Valencian Community is in debt is not because it spends more, but because it earns less,” he argued.

Source: Informacion

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