The regional government's cabinet today approved the budget for 2017. This includes a significant increase in infrastructure investment, which will go up by almost 14% (13.7% to be exact) to 170 million euros and will be met by an anticipated increase in tax revenues.
There are not going to be any new taxes and nor will there be an increase in tourist tax. There will, though, be increases elsewhere, while the higher rate of income tax for higher earners will be maintained.
Podemos, actively involved in the design of the budgets for the first time, will not be presenting any amendments to the whole budget and will also not support any amendments from opposition parties that might be raised without the government having prior knowledge of them.
The party's general secretary, Alberto Jarabo, spoke about the budget at a press conference also attended by Vice-President Barceló and the government's spokesperson, Pilar Costa. Jarabo, in giving his support, referred to the minimum agreements reached to protect the agreements of government (between PSOE, Més and Podemos) from what might now occur because of the formation of the new national government.
Jarabo thanked PSOE representatives in the Balearics for their opposition to the investiture of Mariano Rajoy as prime minister. "Because of the cuts and the hostility that will come, we have to protect the pact," he observed. Biel Barceló said that the agreement will ensure that the 2017 budget will be approved and that there is a parliamentary majority which functions and is capable of arriving at consensus.
For Pilar Costa, the agreement is the culmination of two months of work that have gone into the drafting of the budget. In addition, she said that Podemos having entered into the budget negotiations had guaranteed that the final drafting was in line with the spirit of the pact's agreements for change.
Now that the cabinet has given its approval, the parliamentary process will begin on Monday.
Jarabo noted that support for the budget did not necessarily mean that the party will formally join the government in the future. He noted that Podemos is comfortable with its current role and that health and education will be benefiting.