Barcelona’s budgets for 2021 pass the first procedure

Barcelona City Council budgets for 2021 have been initially approved this Thursday in the Economy commission with the abstention from all opposition (ERC, JxCat, Ciutadans, Barcelona pel Canvi and PP) thus allowing the accounts to continue their processing. The next step is 15 days of public exposure to receive allegations and proposals for improvement. The horizon for the definitive ‘yes’ is the plenary session of December 23. To achieve their approval, a simple majority will be needed, so the Colau government will require external support to move them forward. The 2020 budgets had the approval of ERC and JxCat.

The draft budget presented by the main government for next year is higher than the current year in order to put all the resources to face the social emergency caused by the covid-19 and to promote the recovery and economic reactivation of the city. If for 2020 we worked with the highest accounts in history, the first ones that exceeded 3,000 million euros; for in 2021 the project sets the total amount of 3,231 million euros, that is, 197.5 million more (an increase of 6.5%) compared to 2020; they also foresee a record investment figure: almost 800 million.

Willingness to negotiate

It’s about a “exceptional budget for an exceptional year, of growth and expansion in the midst of decline, of countercyclical investment capacity to mitigate the effects of the social crisis ”, according to the first deputy mayor Jaume Collboni. The councilor has assured, with respect to the majority necessary for its final approval, that the municipal government “extends its hand, does not put red lines and will live up to the demands.” Along the same lines, the Councilor for Budgets, Jordi Martí, thanked the opposition for abstention and predisposition to negotiate accounts that allow the city council to respond to the crisis “ actual.

The project foresees a volume of resources of 3,231 million, and plans to increase and stabilize spending at historical maximum levels to meet urgent social needs. Specific, current spending reaches 2,415.5 million, which represents an increase in resources of 29.5 millions (1.2%) with respect to the current budget. Regarding the investments are expected to reach a record 795.4 million, with a total projected increase of 202 million.

Possibility of issuing debt

The contribution of the central government superior to that of 12 months ago, the possibility of issuing debt (the council has decided to do it in 150 million) and being able to use the remainder, in addition to the lifting of the budget stability law, make possible budgets such as those presented . The possibility of being able to manage the contribution of the European Funds, a tool that would involve more resources, remains pending.

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