Vicenç Thomas and Rosario Sanchez

Vicenç Thomas and Rosario Sanchez yesterday.

06-11-2019Parliament

The speaker of the Balearic parliament, Vicenç Thomàs, confirmed yesterday that, following its passage through parliament, the 2020 budget is scheduled to be passed on December 19. This date is in line with previous years.

The bill for the budget was introduced to parliament yesterday. Ministers are pencilled in for appearances to explain spending plans next week. The timetable for amendments, depending on whether they are to the whole budget or to parts of it, will run until the 28th of this month.

Any redrafting will be completed by December 5. The final debates will be had over three days from the seventeenth.

As previously reported, the total budget will be 5,893 million euros, an eight per cent increase over the current year’s budget. Public spending will account for 4,384 million, a decrease of 50 million; the rest is for debt payments.

Among specific budget allocations is a decrease of 8.3 million euros for the IB3 regional broadcaster and an increase of 35 million euros for the Aetib strategic tourism agency.
The cut for IB3, the government explains, is because there are amounts outstanding from previous years which will continue to finance investment in digitalisation in 2020.

The SFM rail operator’s budget is to go up from 91.8 million to 93.5 million euros, while there is to be a 20 million euro increase (to 79 million) for the Ibavi housing agency.

In terms of tax revenue in 2020, the government forecasts an eight per cent increase from income, six per cent more from IVA (VAT) and 8.3% more from the tourist tax.

Finance minister Rosario Sánchez explained to parliament that 3,091 million - eleven million more than in 2019 - will be for social policies, i.e. health, education, social services, employment and housing.

Taxes are to remain unaltered apart from a slight increase from 1.2% to 1.5% for what is paid (by banks) for finalising mortgage agreements. A reduced rate of 5% tax for first-time home buyers (up to a value of 200,000 euros) is to be maintained.

Sánchez referred to budget discussions between the three parties of government - PSOE, Més and Podemos - as having been an “interactive and highly debated procedure”. Presenting her first budget, Sánchez described it as “prudent” and “responsible” in terms of its social and financial aspects and within the context of “uncertainty” at state level, i.e. the uncertainty caused by an inability to form a government with the required backing of Congress.

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