Commits to a reform in several phases, starting with a leveling fund of 3,000 million for the underfinanced CCAA


The Foundation for Applied Economics Studies (Fedea) has warned of the risk of starting “a drift towards an a la carte regional financing system”, negotiated bilaterally with communities such as Catalonia, regretting that this “would deprive the State of the resources necessary to effectively exercise its essential functions, including that of guaranteeing social and territorial cohesion.”

It is one of the conclusions of the report presented this Monday by the director of Fedea, Ángel de la Fuente, at an informative breakfast with the Association of Economic Information Journalists, where he presented a new report that compiles several notes on the reform of the system. of regional and local financing.

In this context, Fedea warns that, given the investiture pacts reached by the PSOE with the pro-independence formations, “a drift towards an à la carte financing system could begin, which would artificially limit their contribution to regional redistribution and financing. of the common expenses of the State”.

“This would not be admissible,” adds the report, which recognizes that this situation already exists with the regional communities – the Basque Country and Navarra -, although Fedea is committed to “working to correct it gradually.”

For this reason, they believe that “the problem cannot be allowed to spread to other communities with greater economic weight”: “That would deprive the State of the necessary resources to effectively exercise its essential functions, including that of guaranteeing social and territorial cohesion.” “.

For the director of Fedea, the independence demand for “a la carte financing” could mean that certain communities “are basically left without resources” because the common expenses of the State are not financed, while the central Government could be left without funds to “exercise their functions.”

“If this gives way, if we agree to move in that direction, we would be moving in the direction of the federal State” in which “each one keeps his own thing,” De la Fuente has warned, ensuring that what ” today it will be given to Catalonia, tomorrow the Balearic Islands will ask for it and the day after tomorrow Madrid will do it.

In any case, the Fedea report is committed to addressing the reform of the financing system “in several phases.” “Since a comprehensive reform of the system is a complex task that will require many months of negotiations, it would be desirable to take advantage of the time to advance certain preparatory work of a technical nature and, above all, to introduce into the system some tweaks that could be implemented without the need for a general agreement,” they add.

Along these lines, Fedea believes that a first phase of the reform could be a complementary leveling fund “financed entirely” with State resources, a mechanism that “should be addressed immediately.” The cost of this measure would be around 3,000 million euros, which would be distributed between Murcia, Valencia, Andalusia and Castilla la Mancha.

In a second phase, some issues that are in principle technical could be addressed, such as a review of the system of withholdings and payments on account so that the former quickly reflect the tax decisions of the autonomous communities and the latter are more sensitive to the real evolution of the collection.

And while the second phase is being implemented, Fedea believes it is advisable to open negotiations, first between the political parties and then with the autonomous communities, “to seek the broadest possible consensus on the reforms that the system needs.”

“For the reform to be feasible and peaceful, at least an agreement between the two main national parties would be necessary. It would be desirable to extend the consensus to other political forces and the autonomous communities, but not at any price,” the report states.