Leiceaga also cools the possibility of a real reform of financing: “Extremely complicated”
The senator and former regional deputy Xaquín Fernández Leiceaga also throws a bucket of cold water on the real possibilities of achieving a reform of the regional financing system in the current legislature. «It is extremely difficult for the reform to take place», admitted the socialist during his appearance, this Friday, in the commission that houses the Parliament of Galicia since last Monday, and which will hold the last round of appearances next Monday.
Leiceaga has spoken in O Hórreo in a line that coincides with that of the economist and professor at the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville, Diego Martínez, general secretary of regional financing in the last Rajoy government and before general director of Taxes in the Board of Andalusia, who on Thursday pointed out that «the possibilities of undertaking a comprehensive reform are reduced.
The Popular Group spokesman, Pedro Puy, had asked Leiceaga to ‘get wet’ and give his “opinion on the speed or real possibility that the reform materializes in the coming months». Who was spokesman for the PSdeG in the Galician Chamber has relied on his own study, together with Santiago Lago and María Cadaval, who have also passed through the commission, to be as pessimistic or more so than Martínez, with whom he has shared analysis (climate political, electoral cycle), and wanted to influence.
“In a political system in which in Parliament, Congress, and the Senate, there are so much dispersion, with coalition governments in the minority, dependent on other parties, and with regional parliaments where the ruling party is also in the minority and dependent on others, this It makes negotiations very difficult and makes a possible reform much more complicated.», he pointed out in the first place.
To this is added, «above all», the entry into a «almost continuous electoral cycle», which will begin with elections in Castilla y León and Andalusia and will continue with the municipal ones, with the general ones in the long term. “There is little horizon for a reasonable negotiation”, Leiceaga has abounded, “also maintaining, let’s say, a detachment from the ruling parties in Catalonia in relation to the system” of regional financing. «All this makes it hard».
In parallel, the socialist senator has wondered if “there would be room to face that reform.” He believes that there is some room for “improvement”, based on the funds created as a result of the pandemic, which “could give rise to some additional resources”, to which the cooperation funds would be added. In any case, he warned that “everyone hopes that there will be more financing on the table”, but “the situation is very complex”, mainly due to the debt burden and Social Security expenses.
Reject the quota model
In any case, Leiceaga has offered his vision on the current system and the reform proposal of the Ministry of Finance, and how Galicia stands out. It started from the conviction that «the current regional financing scheme is well structured in relation to basic values», since «it allows the exercise of political autonomy and, with imperfections, favors equity in the system as a whole».
He then warned that extending the Basque-Navarre concert system to the whole of Spain “would lead to very uneven results” and “would have very negative consequences in terms of financing for Galicia”, with “a significant reduction in the level of financing”. “This model, applied in general, is an economic error”, he said, “and it is also a political error, which introduces us to debates that we should not have”. For the senator, it is about “how we manage to improve the current situation and adapt it even better to the needs of Galicia; not so much to change to another model that we are not interested in” and “it does not lead anywhere”.
In this sense, he has insisted that what interests Galicia is the “continuity of the current model, in its basic budgets (…), with improvements and with small changes”, but always with a “leveling fund”. Because if communities such as Galicia or Andalusia, with “a much lower than average tax capacity, if they had to face the citizens’ demands alone, they would have enormous difficulties even to cover the basic level» and «their autonomy to establish their own discretionary spending policies would be extremely limited».
As to if “it can go further” in tax autonomy, it has answered “yes” with nuances, because “all the options have some difficulties”: on personal income tax, he has asked for a system with greater agility and speed, and on VAT, it could be transferred to the State as a whole “without breaking the unity of the market”, with a “collegiate », which «has obvious political and technical difficulties».
Finally, for Leiceaga “there are not too many differences”, in the case of Galicia, between the funds it receives and those that would correspond to it applying adjusted population parameters.
In the last stretch of his initial intervention he has entered the Treasury reform proposal, which he sees positive in broad strokes: the reinforcement of the idea of adjusted population; that it be open; the increase in sections in health; and that the costs of the university system be introduced. On the contrary, he sees two problems: how the fixed costs are introduced and how the depopulation variant is applied, which he understands to be “redundant”, because it combines surface and population, which “are already in the model”.
Additionally, he assured that “cooperation funds do not make any sense and we would need a single leveling fund to balance the system. In any case, enable a “transitional fund”, so that “highly favored communities” could “progressively adjust”
Leiceaga has still put more questions on the table. Among others, that responsible commitments prevail, such as that of Galicia; and one “full leveling” in servicesincluding, for example, justice.