The ministry sends its proposal to the communities, in which depopulation would also increase its incidence
The Government says it will study the report, but maintains its position of staying out of the discussion
The Minister of Finance, Maria Jesus Montero, has taken this Friday a first step to reform the autonomous financing system by sending the Government’s proposal based on the criteria of adjusted population. In this first document to initiate the debate on the new model, the central Executive proposes to raise the weight of the health and educational spending, as well as the depopulation, in the distribution of public resources. Specifically, the incidence of health spending would go from 38% to 40% or 45%, and that of educational spending, from 20.5% to 25% or 30%.
In this proposal, the Treasury proposes a calculation of adjusted population, one of the variables of the financing model that determines the distribution of resources according to demographic, social or territorial circumstances, as they were asking for underfunded communities, such as the Valencian Community, Andalusia and Murcia.
In a first reaction, the Conselleria d’Economia, although admitting that it will study the document, insists on its message that “under-financing and the fiscal deficit They can hardly be corrected with a new financing model“In fact, the Government of Pere Aragonès intends to maintain the margin of the negotiation of the financing system, something that has been criticized by the rest of the opposition parties in Catalonia, with the PSC in the lead.
The same sources assure that the adjusted population criteria “do not conform to the reality of Catalonia”, since it is necessary “to take into account the real percentage of the population of Catalonia over the whole of the State, as well as purchasing power parity and the cost of living and utilities, among other issues “.
The Treasury proposal, subject to the contributions made by the communities, and which the ministry expects to receive throughout January, raises the weight of health spending in the adjusted population with respect to the current system from 38% to between 40 % and 45%. One of the measures consists of stratifying the population in 20 age groups versus the current seven. “In this way it is possible to specify much more the real existing healthcare cost by age group”, they assure, considering that, in terms of healthcare expenditure, age is relevant.
In the case of education, the weighting goes from 20.5% of the current system to between 25% and 30%. The Treasury proposal, which arises from the previous work carried out by the commission of experts and the permanent technical evaluation committee, incorporates the needs of the Non-university population, from 0 to 17 years old according to the census and with higher vocational training (FP) from other autonomous communities, and those of the university population aged 18 to 24, as well as the arrival of university students from other communities. The current financing model assesses the training needs of only the population aged 0 to 16, leaving university students and VET students out.
The Government opts for this solution, although the document raises a second option with the non-university population from 0 to 17 years old and the university population from 18 to 24 years old, but “without incorporating students from other autonomous communities.” A third option, which is also included in the report sent to the communities, is a non-university population from 1 to 17 years of age, higher VET students and a university population based on enrolled students.
Regarding social services, the weighting of spending would go from the current 8.5% to between 6% and 10%. Within this variable, the pattern of people over 65 it would weigh between 80% or 90%, and that of the unemployed, between 10% and 20%. The current model is based only on those over 65 years of age, while the Treasury proposal divides the group in two: a section 65 to 79 years and another from over 80 years old. That, in the opinion of the Treasury, “allows a better adaptation to the reality of this expense.” With regard to spending on other services, the weighting would drop from the current 30% to between 18% and 22%.
The variables to guarantee adequate provision of services and that do not have to do with the population go from a weighting of 3% in the current system to between 3% and 4%. These are the surface, the depopulation, introduced as a new element to be taken into account, like the dispersion, as well as the insularity, weighted according to the kilometers from the islands to the peninsula. It is also included as a corrective variable for fixed costs or economies of scale, which could affect “seven autonomous communities with less population.”
The Government demands the autonomies and the parties “a loyal and constructive dialogue ” and “abandon confrontation and partisan interests.” The Treasury considers that the changes guarantee that the distribution of resources “is better adapted to the demographic, social and territorial reality of each area” and recalls that the opinion of the communities has been taken into account.