Junts per Catalunya has gotten away with it this Wednesday in Congress and has managed to sneak one of its amendments into the General State Budgets, the one that could have the most cost for the public coffers: it is the one that considers the creation of a covid fund of 9,362 million euros to be distributed among the autonomous communities so that they can face with more resources the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic during 2022. The proposal has gone ahead thanks to the favorable votes of the PP, Vox, Ciudadanos, EH Bildu, ERC , Canarian Coalition and Junts itself. The Ministry of Finance, as it had already warned, has indicated that this item is inapplicable.
The approval of the amendment in the Budgets committee has generated a stir in Congress, where the PSOE has demanded that the lawyers of the Cortes take a position on a game that out of balance the accounts presented by the Executive and that would force the undoing of other spending chapters to enable resources with which to distribute resources, as the Government has already done in the last two years. The Executive maintains that there is no budgetary application in which the cancellation would be made and that there are not enough resources allocated to make a transfer of 9,362 million effective, as indicated in the amendment. In fact, they point out that the item that would be affected would be the compensation to the autonomies for the payment of the VAT of 2017 that was modified by the then minister Cristóbal Montoro.
The socialist spokesman, Héctor Gómez, has indicated that the lawyers should position themselves on “if it is not effectively enforceable”, as the Treasury defends, and if it confirms that it is of “doubtful application”. Junts sources have explained that their deputy Míriam Nogueras has consulted the Chamber’s lawyers and they have assured them that if it is approved, it can be executed.
“It is not applicable because the amounts do not coincide,” Gómez insisted, referring to this mismatch between the items of expenses and income that will be produced in the Budgets. Despite its approval, Republican deputy Gabriel Rufían has admitted that a non-negotiated amendment has little future to prosper, in reference to the final vote on the Budgets.
The request for a covid fund for 2022 is shared by a large part of the autonomous communities, which have been transferring it to Moncloa since last September. The governments of Andalusia and the Valencian Community have introduced in their autonomous budgets income items from the State in this sense, although these contributions were not foreseen since the Government and the Treasury had defended that other formulas had been articulated so that the communities received more money next year.
Despite this situation, Junts decided to present an amendment in this regard, in which it considered that Catalonia would have 1.6 billion euros. It was not the only game. ERC also carried out the same maneuver, in this case demanding the distribution of a figure similar to that of 2021, 13,000 million euros. Even then, the Treasury said that it did not make sense and that this fund was inapplicable, a position that it has maintained until now.