The Government was far from being an example of fiscal compliance last year with regard to autonomous communities and municipalities. In 2018, the Central Administration defaulted on the deficit and expenditure rule, adjusting only to the public debt objective, thus ranking as the most non-compliant subsector vis-à-vis the autonomous communities and local corporations, which met the stability objectives. The Executive spent five times more than the limit set by the Stability Law, so that if the maximum growth limit set by the spending rule was 2.4%, the Government executed a 10.2% more disbursement.
This is reflected in the report on the degree of compliance of administrations published by the Ministry of Finance. The expenditure rule is one of the budgetary limits – together with the deficit and debt – that the Treasury imposes on the administrations and that limits the growth of the disbursement to a rate linked to the potential growth of the Spanish economy. If in 2017 the Central Administration spent 98,824 million, in 2018 it amounted to 108,914, so that it exceeded the objective by more than 7,700 million. The Treasury attributes the largest expenditure of 2018 to the largest contributions of Spain to the EU Budget of 2,232 million, to the reversion of several toll roads -2,142 million-, and the largest capital transfers.
Precisely, the Central Administration had since 2015 without breaking the spending rule, but has returned to the old ways, although in 2016 and 2017, it did not meet the deficit. An indicator that also exceeded last year: if its goal was 0.7% of GDP, ended at 1.35%, almost double.
A behavior that contrasts with that of the autonomous communities, which as a whole, did not breach the deficit – of 0.2%, below the target of 0.4% – nor did they exceed the expenditure rule as disbursement grew by 2% . In detail, of course, four regions also failed to comply with this indicator: Murcia, Comunidad Valenciana, Baleares and Andalucía.
It is striking that this last community, in which María Jesús Montero was Minister of Finance until June of last year, also failed to comply with the indicator with the Government itself in which she joined the Ministry in the second half of the year. The Junta de Andalucía, in addition, was the only region that failed to meet the debt target. In this way, the two administrations in which Montero was in charge of the accounts in 2018 failed to comply with the spending rule.
Andalusia was also the only one in breach of the debt objective. A situation that, according to sources familiar with ABC, is explained both in the spending rule and in the public debt to negative sentences for the Board of past years, during the socialist mandate, and that the team of Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla has collected. .
On the one hand, a sentence forced the Board to pay 347 million to construction companies for the works of the Seville Metro -constructed from 2003 to 2009- for extra costs and interest. To this has been added another ruling that condemns the Junta de Andalucía to pay 167 million for the stoppage from 2006 to 2014 of the works of the Granadino shopping center «Nevada». These two opinions have occurred this year and have forced the Board to include these expenses in the 2018 accounts.
The breach of Andalusia will cause that this year the community – together with Murcia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands – must elaborate within a month an adjustment plan to explain to the Treasury how it will reduce its imbalances, being more subject to the control of the Ministry that controls Montero .
When observing how the regions have behaved during the mandate of the autonomous governments, the most compliers have been Canarias and Galicia -with 11 compliances-, País Vasco -10-, Madrid, Cantabria, La Rioja and Baleares -with 9-. And the most unruly has been Murcia, with only 4 compliments.
Acting Minister María Jesús Montero, along with the candidate for the mayoralty of Cádiz by the PSOE Fran González, in a meeting with older people from Cádiz – EP
Hacienda breached the law to publish data after the elections of 28-A
The Treasury is obliged by the Stability Law to publish the report that evaluates the fulfillment of the administrations the previous year before April 15. However, the department violated the norm to publish it on May 10, after the elections of 28-A, leaving the report for the first time in May. Although this is not the first time that it has been breached – in 2015 it was released on April 24 – it is the year that was later published, with the elections in between, which has generated discomfort among some regions since now the communities defaulters must submit an adjustment plan to the Treasury within a month. .