Staff Reporter

THE Balearic Minister for Economy, Carles Manera, has demanded a “rigorous review and analysis” of the spending policies of every department before producing the first budgets for the new Government.

Manera signed an order on July 26 setting out the rules for the production of the 2008 budgets.
This order signifies the start of the long process which will conclude at end of the year with Parliament approving the budgets for 2008. The policy directives for next year's budgets are set out in the order, although no figures are mentioned (the Cabinet is still studying the state of the region's coffers). “The Government's budget strategy will prioritise activities for improving essential public services such as health care, education and social protection, as well as measures to develop public transport in a decisive manner, the protection of the environment, and technological investigation, innovation and development, especially within the tourism environment”, says Manera's order.

The budgets will also have to guarantee the necessary investments and adjustments for the effective development of the Regional Statute. Government sources explained that all the Ministries, as well as public companies and organisations, will have to deliver detailed information about the income and expenditure of each of their departments before August 15, as well as working on their budgets for next year.

The model for producing budgets for public companies will also be the object of a revision. The order from the Balearic Ministry for Economy and Taxation authorises the Budgets department to design a single model which will replace the existing models.

For the first time the budgets of the Regional Foundations will be totally integrated with those of the region.
The Balearic Government is in debt to the tune of 2'700 million euros, according to the first analysis by the Cabinet. In spite of this debt, the new head of the Tax department has made it clear that “we will not criminalise” the debt and that they will continue with the system to guarantee their investments.

The leader of the Balearic Government, Francesc Antich, will reveal the seriousness of Balearics' financial situation to the Spanish Prime Minister when they meet tomorrow.


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