Wednesday, April 14

Regressive Budgets that will harm Spain

Despite the fact that there is no constitutional automatism that implies the fall of an Executive if it fails to approve them, it is often said that without General State Budgets (PGE) there is no possibility of government, since they involve translating the political project in euros. Even the few purely symbolic aspects that do not need financing are based on a State whose power also passes through the control of a part of the national wealth.

However, some Budgets clarify much more about what is not going to be done (everything that is not included) than about what is going to be done (the Government can always order that almost all expenses – except the payment of debt) remain unexpired, particularly on the pretext that revenues have been lower than expected).

In addition, article 134.5 of our Magna Carta empowers the Executive to present bills at any time during the fiscal year (converted in an abusive manner by the president Sánchez in decree-laws) to spend more or enter less. And to finish downplaying the PGE, 134.7 excludes that they can be used to create new tributes, but only to modify them. The financial reality of the State’s resources therefore widely exceeds what these annual accounts can foresee and, in fact, the Sánchez governments have already created taxes and increased expenses on several occasions during these two and a half years.

How then can its content be interpreted? Let’s use the simile of a trip: where do you want to go, with whom, in what vehicle, who is piloting it, how much fuel will it take … And the answer to each of these questions invites me to distrust the Government’s intentions.

Of course, in the where creativity expands, so the interesting thing is to see how they forget to promise that Arcadia of prosperity and social justice. His forecast that in 2023 we will arrive with the same 14% unemployment as that found in 2018 is especially alarming. Sánchez would then have been in power for five years, three of this epidemic from which “we came out stronger” would have passed, a plan of unprecedented recovery from Europe: to continue being the country with the most unemployed in Europe and 50% more unemployment than twenty years before?

The great test of Sánchez and his ministers’ inability to govern has been the lack of coordination in the pandemic

¿With whom? The Socialists already said it in their motto of the first campaign with Sánchez as candidate: “to govern for the majority”, thus cornering a minority for whom they do not govern (or against whom they govern). But it turns out that the majority are not the humblest but the usual untouchables, because the most bulky and the most immutable of the Budgets are dedicated to giving more to pensioners and public employees, precisely the groups that have been least affected by the crisis .

Both groups could well have been frozen except for the revaluation of the minimum pension and devoting more spending to the helpless of the crisis, but the Government knows well where it has a more organized clientele that demands payment in cash and who it can try to cajole with arguments. Of course, even fewer take into account future generations to whom they leave an increasingly bulky public bill that they will have to combine with that mortgage signed at the age when their parents had finished paying it.

He with whom It can also be answered with the votes that have been taken. But these Budgets will be harmful not only because they are backed by many who want to break Spain, but first of all because of their misguided content. That is why they deserved that the bloc opposition had concentrated on demonstrating it, to avoid the Government’s chant of “they were the PGE that we needed and the votes that have allowed us to carry them out welcome.”

¿In which vehicle? This is where the government’s lack of ambition and realism is most visible. The socioeconomic structure (characteristics of the companies, of the workforce …) is not a starting point outside the action of the public powers. Their productivity, competitiveness or capacity for innovation depend not only on how they organize among themselves, but also on numerous decisions by legislators or the Executive, such as regulations (on commercial traffic, on labor contracts …), incentives (even at the of equivalent taxes is not the same to tax for hiring someone as for the profits obtained) and results (the quality of education in the country, to give a few examples). The Government and its supporters had a lot to decide and have not done so about what reforms Spain needs.

¿Who pilots it? The Government of course, so it is appropriate to examine its management capacity. Perhaps it is useful to look at the greatest achievements they show off. The first legislature had two: 17 months to change to Franco to another mausoleum of public ownership but smaller, and a significant increase in the minimum wage whose cost and implementation corresponds to the companies.

In this second term, the “historical step” has supposedly been the Minimum Vital Income where – apart from the cacophony with the vice president Iglesias– the minister Escrivá he has met only 20% of the objectives that he himself announced in May (seeking as an excuse delays in the management of files by … a public company). Although undoubtedly the great test of the inability to govern of Sánchez and his ministers will have been the lack of coordination in the pandemic that has placed us among the worst in the world in health and economic impact.

These Budgets do not address reforms, they continue to send costs to the next generations and distort income

¿How much fuel will it take? What good is promising a fabulous trip at a moderate cost when it is precisely hidden that you do not have enough kerosene? This fall in mid-flight has happened this year because the Government’s forecasts for a fall in GDP have been systematically several percentage points behind those of almost all analysts and, worst of all, the reality that is being verified at the end of the year . Each point is twelve billion euros of lower economic growth and about four billion less tax collection, with which the State ends up cutting where it can and not where it should if it had calculated with greater sincerity instead of the short-termism of postpone bad news and end up giving worse.

The main responsible for this terrible election were the ministers Maria Jesus Montero and above all Calvin, and everything indicates that this year there will probably be two points missing in their calculations, even with a reasonable use of European aid.

In sum, these Budgets formulated by the pseudo-left have nothing progressive since they do not address reforms, they continue to send costs to the next generations, they distort income forecasts, subordinate management to a divisive policy and renounce territorial solidarity to satisfy the local egoisms. All this in no way protects the weakest but the opposite, that is to say that they will be regressive because they weaken the sustainability of the welfare state.

Accounts inherited from Montoro They already sinned from a lack of reformist ambition and of maintaining the advantages to those of always, but their continuity allowed at least a more measured budget execution. Now Sánchez and Iglesias have given each other gunpowder for a few months of electoralism that we will soon pay for in a lower growth than that of the rest of Europe and in a worsening of inequalities; By then, we will see if they prefer to anticipate elections or believe that it is enough for them to blame the opposition.

I sense that fewer and fewer Spaniards will be satisfied with the Government, but it will not be threatened as long as the moderate right continues to be divided and the genuine left alien to nationalism remains divided and deprived of political offer: I trust that 2021 will bring news in both fields.

*** Víctor Gómez Frías is a director of EL ESPAÑOL.

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