Government pledging no more cuts. | P. BOTA

The Balearic government employs 28,306 people. From the start of next year they will enjoy a 2.5% pay rise, a provision in the 2019 budget, albeit that the increase will depend on the national government managing to pass its budget.

The budgets department at the Balearic finance ministry has included this pay rise, which will take spending on personnel to 1,600 million euros, more or less one third of the entire budget.

Before there can be approval of the budget, the government will need to comply with obligations under the national law for budgetary stability. A ceiling on spending has to be established. This is likely to be agreed at a cabinet meeting on Friday. The spending has to take into account debt payments; the debt cannot be increased.

Talks between the government parties (PSOE and Més) have been held over the summer, and Podemos are having an input for the first time. They have said that there will be formal negotiations next month, as Podemos prepare - depending on next May's election results - to enter the government. The total budget figure has yet to be specified; for 2018 it was just over 5,000 million euros.

Where personnel are concerned, a large number are employed by the health and education ministries, which have the two highest ministerial budgets. The health ministry's was 1,580 million for this year; the education budget was 935 million. It is believed that spending on education will top the 1,000 million mark in 2019. If so, it will have risen by around 30% from what it was when the current government took office.