The Government obtains from Congress the endorsement of the Budgets and channels the legislature

  • The bipartite removes the bill with 188 votes in favor, the same endorsements as for the current accounts of 2021: does not lose any partners

  • The budgets they travel to the Senate, where the Executive does not have to introduce any amendment, so the upper house will go to the BOE

The Government is already one step away from having in hand its General State Budgets (PGE) for 2022. When it passed the first examination, the total vote, it was already taken for granted that it would save the next phase, that of the partial amendments. And so it has been. This Thursday, the plenary session of Congress approved by a large majority the Executive’s project, which will now continue its processing in the Senate. The Executive managed to tie the support of 11 formations to the State accounts, which added up to 188 votes in favor, for 159 against the forces of the right and an abstention from the BNG. Pedro Sánchez manages to channel the legislature and expand and consolidate the parliamentary investiture alliances. Those of 2022 may be the last PGE that the Treasury can approve, because within a year Spain you will find yourself closer to the electoral whirlwind of the autonomic and municipal ones of May 2023 and of some general ones that the president intends to schedule for the end of that year or, as a cap, the start of 2024.

The Budget law only requires simple majority (more yeses than noes) in the articles and in each of the sections, and the Government saved the process with ease. Saved a absolute majority identical to the one that the current accounts lit up, those of 2021, those that put an end to the longest-lived PGEs of Spanish democracy, those of 2018. That means that in a year the bipartisan has not lost partners, to the satisfaction of socialists and purples. The yes front was made up of the PSOE (120 deputies), Unidos Podemos (34, one less, because the vacancy of Alberto Rodríguez has not been filled), ERC (13), PNV (6), Bildu (5), PDECat (4 ), Más País-Equo (2), Compromís (1), Regionalist Party of Cantabria (1), Nueva Canarias (1) and Teruel Existe (1).

The 188 yeses, which were repeated like a litany in the majority of the votes of the opinions (348 votes were cast out of the 350 possible), are well above the investiture of Sánchez, in January 2020: then, the leader of the PSOE was elected chief executive by 167 votes in favor, 165 against and 18 abstentions. For the right, which opposed en bloc, the 2022 accounts are false, unreal, an accusation to which the Executive responds claiming that they are endorsed by Europe. The no block It was made up of PP (88), Vox (52), Ciudadanos (9), Junts (4), Unión del Pueblo Navarro (2), CUP (2), Coalición Canaria (1) and a deputy formerly belonging to Cs and today in the Mixed.

The Basque nationalists in the end supported the opinions of the bill: its spokesman, Aitor Esteban, warned on Wednesday that the budget negotiation remained open and would extend until the process in the Senate, since there were issues to “improve” and that concern to its training, such as the provision for the high-speed train and its burial at the entrance to the Basque capitals. According to sources from the PNV to this newspaper, the talks will continue, but that was not an obstacle for its six parliamentarians endorse the opinions in the final vote Thursday, the results of which were announced by the president of Congress, the socialist Meritxell Batet, around 3 pm, at which point four consecutive intense days of debate culminated.

Brussels endorsement

The PGE project for 2022 foresees a total consolidated expenditure of the State, Social Security and autonomous organizations for a total of 458,970 million euros, an amount practically identical to that budgeted for 2021, in which almost all spending items rise, except for unemployment, vaccines and public debt due to the better evolution of the health crisis and interest rates.

With the help of the 27,633 million of spending on account of the European recovery funds, the Budgets for 2022 are presented as the ones with the highest investment in history (40,000 million) and with a record social spending, which represents 54% of the total. Pensions absorb almost 4 out of every 10 euros of the Budget. The Government expects these PGEs to contribute to the recovery and growth of the economy for which the Executive expects a rate of 7%, well above the 5.5% projected by the European Commission.

Brussels, however, applauded the bipartisan budget project on Wednesday, appreciated that the Government followed its recommendation to use European funds to finance additional investments and to maintain nationally financed investments. Of course, the Commission warned Spain that given its level of public debt and “the great challenges of sustainability in the medium term before the pandemic of covid-19”, preserve the “prudent fiscal policies to ensure sustainable public finances in the medium term”. Brussels defines the 2022 accounts as “contractionary”, due to the lower current expenditure forecast for 2022.

Related news

With the budgets of the next fiscal year endaredos and the reform of the pensions already on track after the agreement with ERC and PNV -the employers left the consensus last week-, the Government only has left, as the last economic “priority” before ending the year, conclude the negotiation for the new labor market legislation, which must be published in the BOE before December 31, as required by Brussels. Sánchez aspires to tie the reform with a pact of unions and employers, but these are still very hard.

One of the last amendments incorporated to the opinion was transacted by the Executive with ERC, Bildu and BNG, by which a fund of 10.5 million euros is created to support audiovisual production in Catalan, Basque and Galician. Between 2009 and 2011, the three independence groups explained, there was already a fund, through the Ministry of Culture, that supported these productions, but the PP eliminated it in 2012, after its arrival in Moncloa.

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