Madrid (EFE).- The Congress of Deputies approved this Thursday the suspension of the deficit target for 2023, considered the previous step for next year’s budgets that the government intends to present “in due course”.
The government’s proposal to suspend fiscal rules for the third consecutive year in the face of the exceptional circumstances resulting from the war in Ukraine has received support from the PSOE, United We Can, ERC, PNV, EH Bildu and Citizens, among others, for which has added the abstention of the PP. Thus, the report was approved by 195 votes for, 53 against and 95 abstentions.
With this approval, the way is cleared for the presentation of next year’s draft budget, which the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, plans to register “in due time” and for the negotiation of which she has asked the groups “responsibility”.
Deficit targets for 2023 become mere benchmarks
As in previous years, the government had asked Congress to assess that the exceptional circumstances provided for in Articles 135.4 of the Constitution and 11.3 of the law on budgetary stability and financial sustainability exist to suspend the budgetary rules, in accordance with the European Commission.
Thus, the deficit targets for 2023 are no longer binding and become simple references, both for the administration as a whole (3.9% of GDP, 1.1 points less than in 2022) and for the sub -sectors.
Along with the suspension of fiscal rules, the government approved a “record” spending cap of 198,221 million euros – not subject to Congressional approval – with which it hopes to consolidate economic growth, job creation , investment effort and protection against inflation.
In this sense, Montero has opened the door to extending some of the measures aimed at mitigating inflation – among them the fuel discount – beyond the end of the year and even incorporating others. , although this possibility was not included in the calculation of the expenditure ceiling.
Claim for a rebalancing plan and tax measures
Most groups agreed that the circumstances exist to suspend fiscal rules, although they criticized the lack of a rebalancing plan and the need for new tax measures for high earners.
In this sense, Montero advanced that he was working on the possibility of creating a new temporary tax for large fortunes, which would come into force in 2023, independently of the wealth tax.
Precisely, the demand for a tax on large fortunes was one of the key points of the intervention of the spokesperson of United We Can, Txema Guijarro, who also demanded the reduction of VAT for the products of feminine intimate hygiene and veterinary services.
Ciudadanos also voted for “because that’s how Europe marks it”, defended its economic spokeswoman María Muñoz, who called for a rebalancing plan to prevent flexibility from being “an excuse for s ‘discard more than necessary’ and blamed the ‘irresponsible’ revaluation of pensions with inflation.
The nationalists vote for, the PP abstains
ERC MP Joan Margall showed her support for the suspension of the deficit rules because “extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures”, but asked for “the courage” to go further, to modify the budget stability law and ” to repeal Article 135 of the Constitution”. promote expansionist policies.
Likewise, the PNV supported the text because the circumstances “remain exceptional” and because this flexibility allows the State, the Autonomous Communities and the Municipalities “to use all the tools” to mitigate the effects of the war, according to his deputy Idoia Sagastizabal.
“We agree that the budgetary rules will continue to be suspended,” agreed EH Bildu MP Mertxe Aizpurua, who argued that she will go with “responsibility” to the negotiation of the budgets which, hopefully. -it will include “structural” policies for the benefit of the social majority. PdeCAT also voted in favor, considering that there are circumstances that justify it; More Country, which called for tax reform, Canarian Coalition, PRC and Teruel Exist.
The PP defended its abstention because, although it accepts the exceptional circumstances, it lacks deadlines and procedures, including a medium-term rebalancing plan, according to deputy Elvira Rodríguez.
Instead, they showed their rejection of Vox -to avoid “being complicit in an uncontrolled increase in spending”, according to deputy Iván Espinosa de los Monteros- and Foro Asturias
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