The amount allocated to Catalonia from this year’s State Annual Budget is at its lowest it has been in seventeen years and will add to another fiscal year of heavy budgetary cuts. This massive drop in State investment means that Catalonia is the third most punished region in Spain, receiving 145€ per capita of public investment, where the average in Spain is 242€ per capita. When the percentage of the State Budget that goes back into Catalonia (9.5%) is compared to Catalonia’s contribution to Spanish GDP (18.8%) or with Catalonia’s share of the Spanish population (16.1%), this redistribution is far from equitable.
Aside from not taking into account any of the 23 measures which were proposed by President Mas to improve the economy, the budgetary priorities of the State are as follows:
- To compensate the ACS Group with €1.35 bn for withdrawing from the Castor gas storage project (State investment in Catalonia planned for 2015 was €1.072 bn)
- Active employment policies to receive €4.7 bn, while in 2010 the investment was €7.7 bn
- Transfers in healthcare to autonomous communities be reduced by 56%
- Having suffered considerable cuts in the previous year, expenditure in social services and care for dependent adults to be suspended.
- The Ministry is to freeze its contribution which was assigned to Catalonia for culture. Budgets allocated to The Prado, Reina Sofía and The Thyssen, however, have increased significantly.
- €40 m has been included in the budget to finance the shuttle train service to Barajas airport. Madrid already has a subway, regional trains and now it will have a shuttle train to reach the airport. Meanwhile, El Prat airport must seek private ways to finance its transportation.
- Military spending is to be increased in the annual budget. The Ministry of Defence will now have a larger budget than the Ministry of Public Works and Transport or than the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.
- In 2015, the State will increase the budget of the Prado Museum by 9%, which will go onto receive a total of €42 m (this is a larger amount than all of the cultural institutions in Catalonia combined).