The purchase of protective equipment was an exceptional expenditure in 2020. | Efe

The AIReF independent fiscal responsibility authority has calculated that it will take the Balearic government ten years to recover the exceptional costs that have been incurred because of the pandemic.

AIReF, which analyses the accounts of public bodies, has assessed the government's 2021 budget and believes that it is "prudent" while nevertheless warning that the government will begin to have serious problems in 2022. The abrupt fall in growth represents a risk to Balearic financial sustainability and will cause a level of government debt not previously experienced. To get back to how things were in 2019 will take at least ten years.

In terms of managing the government's debt, 2033 had been earmarked as the year by which its reduction because of annual repayments would be at an acceptable level. AIReF reckons that this will now be delayed until 2046.

The government hasn't made a definitive estimation of the cost of the pandemic, but a provisional calculation points to a budgetary hole of 800 million euros, of which 300 million relate to exceptional spending and 500 million to loss of revenue. This latter figure has, however, been mitigated by funds from the Spanish government - some 400 million euros.

Among the exceptional costs incurred because of the pandemic was the payment for protective equipment from China and the chartering of planes. On the revenue side, losses include income from the tourist tax.