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Andaluca balances the accounts in the year of the pandemic and closes 2020 with 141 million surplus


The crisis, especially health but also economic, caused by Covid-19 triggered public spending in Andalusia in 2020 by more than 14% compared to what was expected. If the Board’s budgets amounted to 38,540 million of the total expenditure for the whole year, the final figure exceeded 44,000 million euros, an increase of more than 5.4 billion of euros that, if not at all, to a great extent, is attributable to the bill derived from the pandemic and its consequences on the economy. With everything, and p

That to everything, the accounts settled again. According to the data handled by the European Finance and Finance Minister, the regional administration closed the year without red numbers, with a

technical surplus

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of 141 million and with the financial balance assured. The extraordinary injections of funds cushioned the impact of the health emergency and to this was added a decrease in own income than expected. The result is a surplus that, in practice, is almost symbolic – it represents only 0.09% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Andalusia – but which guarantees that, after passing the filter of State Intervention, the community returns to comply with the spending and debt rules. And all this in the middle of the year of the pandemic and despite the collapse of economic activity. Those

141 million

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of euros of difference between what is entered and what is spent -the surplus- is expected to be reduced when the

2020 accounts

are subjected to examination by the Ministry of Finance, of the General Intervention, which usually increases the item of expenditure with obligations not yet recognized. But, in any case, and as explained to EL MUNDO Ignacio Mndez, Secretary General of the Treasury, the red numbers are discarded and the maximum deficit allowed to the communities, of 0.2%, does not touch. The most remarkable thing, Mndez points out, is that not a single one of the

needs

raised by the counselors to face the Covid-19 crisis. From the extraordinary hiring of personnel in the Andalusian Health Service (SAS) to those of teachers, passing through unforeseen investments in health matters, expenses multiplied. To give an example, he points out the high position of the Treasury, the investment in the SAS doubled in 2020. Without counting the financial expense -payment of debt, interest, etc.-, the 2020 budget of the Junta de Andaluca established a limit of expense of

33,350 million

of euros that, in the end, has been exceeded until reaching 36,028 million. The difference, 2,678 million, has been additional expense generated by the pandemic. It is not surprising that it is in the games of the

Health Counselor

and Families, especially SAS, where the highest increase in spending has been recorded. To be exact, of the 10 billion he had allocated as credit (that is, to spend), he went to 11.650 million. And to that we must add another one hundred million that the Minister of Health spent more than expected, without counting on the SAS. The

Minister of Education

It is the other department of the Andalusian Government that has suffered the most from the effects of the pandemic and that has been noted in its accounts. If the 2020 budget was 6,870 million euros, spending at the end of the year grew to 7,160 million. The positive closure of the Andalusian accounts has also had to do with the fact that the

own income

The predictions have not collapsed as much as could be anticipated. If the estimate of income for this concept in last year’s budget was 2,430 million euros, the final amount remained at 1,750 million after a decrease of 680 million that, although it is not negligible, was considerably less than the 1,500 million that were foreseen as a decrease. To all these data must be added a level of

budget execution

that, always according to the data provided by the European Finance and Finance Minister, reached 94%, a threshold similar to that reached in the 2019 budget -the first entirely designed by the Government of the

PP

Y

Citizens

– and well above the execution levels of the previous PSOE governments.

Financing in the markets

Compliance with the debt and spending rules, which the Moreno Bonilla government has assumed even in these years of crisis, clears the way for the Junta de Andaluca to implement its

financing plan

for the next few years with the aim that the debt markets have increasing weight. Already in this year 2021, the intention of the autonomous executive is to obtain in the markets about half of all its financing needs. Of the 6.3 billion euros of debt contemplated in this year’s budgets, the plan is to borrow

2,870 million

in the markets. The strategy for the next few years is that the percentage increases with the view that in 2023, the debt markets provide approximately the

70%

of all the financing that the Board needs. At the moment, the

great novelty

This year is the issuance, for the first time in the history of the Andalusian community, of

sustainable bonds

, which will be released in the first half of 2021.

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