Saturday, June 18, 2011

Paying twice for the same thing

Sure you have heard the expression from the title of this text. Well, in Catalonia it is a real experience.



For years, Catalonia has contributed to the state much more money than it gets back in any form, according to Spain's Interregional Fiscal Balances in 2006 -the only year such information has been made public, although it's calculated every year- Catalonia contributes with 8.70% of its gross domestic product (GDP): 195,284 million € (view pdf). That year Catalonia transfered 16,989 million € to Spain for free, without gaining anything back. We do not have the fiscal balances of 2010 -the Spanish government recently promised to publish this data every three years starting next October with the fiscal balances corresponding to year 2009. Why so late? Why every three years? We'll wait and see. If we extrapolated the 209,727 million € Catalan GDP in 2010 (view indicators), the interregional deficit from Catalonia at 31 December 2010 would ascend to 18,246 million €.

I know that such a projection is not correct. We should also consider other factors, but as for me it is the same 18,000 as 14,000 million €. The fact is that Catalonia is paying for a number of services and infrastructures that others regions have and enjoy and Catalonia doesn't.




However, accounts of Catalonia showed that at the end of last year the difference between its income and expenses suposes a deficit of 3.86% of Catalan GDP, an amount that still needs to be added the debt that Catalonia has had to issue to meet its needs: 16.2% of its GDP.

This means that:

Catalonia transfers to Spain every year at least 8.70% of GDP more than it receives in any concept.
Catalonia's issued debt equals 16.2% of its GDP.
Catalonia's final deficit (incomes-expenses) equals 3.86% of its GDP.

Illogical, right?

But this also has more consequences: the Spanish government is now asking Catalonia to spend less and increment taxes in order to reduce deficit, or else Spain's rate will get even worse. And Catalonia also needs to reduce its deficit or else its defficit will be less atractive and therefore more expensive.

If Catalonia could get back only half of its interregional deficit within Spain, the Catalan government wouldn't need to cut a single Euro in Health nor Education and could even improve these and other services. In fact, health expenditure per inhabitant of Catalonia is now the ninth in rank of the Spanish regions.

In other words, Catalonia itself wouldn't have any deficit at all. The deficit is caused because Catalonia is and has been for decades paying services and infraestructures for the different Spanish regions, not only not getting anything back, but actually having to offer worse services to the Catalans. And now, with the financial crisis, Catalonia is asked to even spend less in these basic services -health, education, basic infrastuctures...

Catalonia is paying twice, for the same thing... or worse: for nothing.

Adapted from Santiago Niño Becerra's article:

http://www.leconomic.cat/neco/article/4-economia/18-economia/399421-pagar-dos-cops-per-la-mateixa-cosa.html

7 comentaris:

  • Anonymous says:
    August 4, 2011 at 3:06 AM

    I do not think the same dude, I think that yes, you are paying more, but you should share your money with the rest of Spain, solidarity, Is always about money, you do not want Spain to take your money but you are taking the money of Germany? is logical to separate of Spain in Spain and then unite with Spain in Europe?
    The world need SYNERGY to help each other mainly in the mad moments.

  • Catamunt says:
    August 4, 2011 at 3:39 AM

    I agree with the 1st comment, and I think that most Catalans agree with that, but you have to take into account that it's not solidarity what we are talking about, it's about a massive plundering to the Catalans, not for solidarity, but to spend that money on unnecessary and superfluous things, making Catalans quality of live much worse than the quality of live in Spain. Catalonia is closing down hospitals and schools. Catalonia has more poverty (more than 20%) than Spain, and it's getting worse every year (see http://j.mp/nMCTen from 2008, now it's much worse).
    I think that all persons and nations are equal. This means that solidarity is very important. I don't want to live much better or much worse than others just because I live somewhere. But in this case we are not giving our money (not even a reasonable amount of money, for that matter) to those who really need it, we are giving it to those who are using it for unnecessary things, as shown in many articles in this blog. And again, if as an independent state we are going to give money to those who need it in Europe and in the world, why should we stay in a state that plunders us and doesn't respect or views and decisions. Why do all other countries get to decide their future and what they do with their money freely while we have to stick with this growing poverty, closing of hospitals and schools, etc, when we actually are generating enough money for us to live better than now and at the same time contribute to those in need?

  • Anonymous says:
    August 4, 2011 at 4:01 AM

    How convenient, see today´s cover of El Periódico de Catalunya, the second most widespread newspaper in Catalonia: http://www.ara.cat/comunicacio/Periodico_ARAIMA20110804_0039_1.jpg
    It says: "The financial crisis multiplies the extreme poverty. A Catalonia close to famine. 18% of the population survives only with the help of the public and social solidarity networks"

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Anonymous says:
    August 4, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • Anonymous says:
    August 4, 2011 at 8:05 AM

    To the anonymous of the 1st comment: when you give something to somebody that's solidarity. When somebody forces you to give that; then its thieving.
    Of course we want to help Spain...but we want to decide it.
    About Europe maybe you do not know that Catalan language is forbidden in the European Parliament 'cos Spain decide it. And it is forbidden in the Spanish Parliament too. Could you give solidarity to somebody who doesn't let you to speak?.

  • Anonymous says:
    August 6, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    To the first poster: If this is your idea of synergy, can I have then some of it with your bank account?

  • Anonymous says:
    September 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Absolutely agree with first anonymus post.

Post a Comment