Margin to reduce the gap in Spanish public accounts is running out. Chairman of the Independent Authority for Financial Responsibility (Arif), Christina HerreroThis Tuesday, in his appearance before the Congressional Budget Committee to assess the draft state budget for 2023, he warned that next year could be the last year in which the public deficit is cut and from then on. Entering a recession Which would leave Spain’s fiscal imbalance in a range of 3.2% to 4.6%.
The scenario observed by the Financial Authority, the institution created at the request of Brussels to ensure the sustainability of public accounts, differs significantly from the scenario projected by the government in the budget plan it sent last Saturday to the European Commission and which it maintains. The public deficit will fall below the 3% barrier in 2025 at the latest. For this, the government relies on the strength of public income, which since the pandemic has contributed an additional 70,000 million euros to the fund and whose maintenance it takes for granted.
Arif is less optimistic. He considers that the government reduced all revenue that was coming in during this period, also partly due to inflation, and diverted it to new expenditures, which led to a state of stagnation It is impossible to cut the flaw in the public accounts in the future.
Herrero has criticized the government’s budget approach in recent years. Recognizes that the reference deficit rates recommended for provincial administrations after the suspension of fiscal rules were too lax and encouraged the public sector to cut back all the extra fiscal income obtained without paying attention to reducing the structural deficit, which is one of the few recommendations made by the European Commission in this context.
The head of the Public Finance Authority has been highly critical of the low quality of budgets and accused the government of forcing them to blindly conduct their assessment of public accounts due to the lack of information they receive about income and expenditure accounts or from other relevant elements such as the implementation of European funds.
As for the 2023 project, it has made it ugly to present a draft budget that does not include the impact of a handful of measures costing millions to mitigate the effects of inflation currently in force and whose extension is a foregone conclusion. .