The economist Santiago Lago, the expert proposed by Galicia for the commission that has articulated at the state level a proposal that lays the foundations of the new autonomic financing model, ensures that the presented report, whose content has been released in recent days, it supposes “more opportunities than risks” for the community in the framework of a negotiation in which it touches to the Xunta “to do numbers”.
In a press conference in Santiago, asked about what figure should fight Galicia in the political negotiation that is now active, has influenced that it is not his role to specify amounts. In any case, and although it is not an instrument of the system “in the strict sense”, it has expressed its conviction that “where there is more profit space” is in the reform of the Inter-territorial Compensation Fund (FCI).
Through this way he explained that Galicia currently receives some 40 million when, in the past, it has received up to 200 million. In his opinion, we should fight to retake, at least, that figure. “And we have some documents in which we justify reaching 300 million euros per year,” he remarked.
He also indicated that the report opens the possibility of retaking full leveling of all decentralized services, another key way, according to Lago, for Galicia. And in 2009, the notion of partial leveling was included (in line with what is established in the Catalan Statute), that is, reserving it only for essential public services (health, education and social services).
“What matters to Galicia is that there are more resources on the table because there is a problem of generalized insufficiency, the more additional resources, the possibility of increasing your funding, but above all it is very important that progress be made towards the full leveling of all services, and if this is not achieved through the basic fund, which is done through the vertical leveling fund, “he has proposed.
And is that the proposed model would have three funds: the basic funding (for most competitions), the singular competences (for issues such as language, police, justice …) and vertical leveling.
The Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Vigo has also indicated that it could benefit Galicia to consider giving more weight to the factor of “population over-aging”, that is, “not only the population over 65, but the one that exceeds this age “, in the distribution of funds, for example, as health and dependence.
In addition, it has influenced that the model continues “speaking of adjusted inhabitants”, that is to say, “of the cost of the services and not of the fiscal capacity of the territory”.
RISK: REDEFINING THE MEASUREMENT OF POPULATION DISPERSION
In the section of risks, has alluded to that affects the possibility of redefining the measurement of population dispersion, which until now was accounted for in terms of population entities, which benefits Galicia.
“If the definition is changed, we could lose”, the expert acknowledged.
“ADJUSTMENTS AND REFORMS”, BUT NOT “RUPTURAS”
From a general perspective, Lago has reviewed some of the approaches introduced by the report and that have already been released in recent days. For example, the option that, to get more resources, you can decide to raise the VAT rates in a “collegiate” way
or special taxes, or that communities have “more capacity” to establish co-payments in areas such as healthcare.
As an advantage for the community, he insisted that the collection will not be distributed according to the consumption of each community (which would benefit communities like Catalonia), but the cost of services. He also pointed to the demand for “greater solidarity” from the Basque Country and Navarre, a point that he himself has made that will be “very controversial”.
In any case, Lago, who has not issued any particular vote to the global report, has indicated that it highlights the need to make “adjustments and reforms” to the system, but not to “break” with it. In his opinion, there are “shortcomings” in the financing model that sustains the autonomous State and that must be polished, but without “ruptures”.
TOURIST RATE IN THE LOCAL FIELD
In the area of local financing, it has been “clearly favorable” for municipalities to be able, with “optional”, to have the possibility of setting a tourist tax if they consider it appropriate. “Let each municipality decide whether it applies or not,” he suggested.
“It is an option, it is not nonsense,” he added, before pointing out that there are cities that have already implemented it and that can even serve to “discourage” tourism in areas where the influx of visitors is “excessive”.