Once the last pitfalls of the budget negotiation and the housing law have been overcome, and the Budgets for recovery are ready, the first to be managed by European aid, the coalition partners have launched into the battle of the story. Beyond the “harmony” within the Government that has been highlighted by the vice president, Yolanda Díaz, or the strengthening that supposes for the Executive to approve the public accounts with the largest investments in history, PSOE and United We can fight to take credit for the measures more social accounts that include.
The Budgets of 2022 contemplate a historical record of investments and social spending
Pedro Sánchez struck first. After announcing the agreement, he went to the Urban Forum held in Seville and advanced the creation of a youth voucher of 250 euros per month for two years for rental housing. The measure was not known to United Podemos, which has even doubted its effectiveness. “We will study the measure and we will transfer to the PSOE what we consider. I am concerned that the aid in the fund is a way for the landlords to raise the price and not only do not help young people but, in addition, everyone is harmed because all the country’s rents may rise as a result of these aid, “the Minister of Social Rights and leader of Podemos, Ione Belarra, doubted aloud.
Sources from the socialist part of the Government admit that their partners do not know the entire budget project. “They do not have all the information. They have that of their ministries and if they are interested in any question,” they explain.
United Podemos had also stepped on the accelerator to get its chest out on housing, attributing its final achievements: the setting of a cap on the rental prices of homes from large owners, the 150% surcharge of the IBI for empty flats, the price freeze and tax incentives for small homeowners who lower prices – a proposal accepted by the Socialists – or the reservation of 30% of all promotions for protected housing, which Belarra took for granted will be mandatory while the Ministry of Transport manages it. as a possibility.
Some of these measures, in reality, are at the mercy of what the autonomous communities and municipalities that have the powers to apply them decide. Isabel Díaz Ayuso, José Luis Martínez-Almeida and even Begoña Villacís have already said that with them they do not have to adopt from their administrations a measure that could annoy the large owners.
On Wednesday afternoon, one day after the agreement, United We can ensure that they had managed to “include in the Housing Law the prohibition of the sale of public housing, which may not be requalified in any case.” The PSOE revolted and defended that this measure had been announced by José Luis Ábalos last June, when he was still in charge of the Ministry. “It is one of the fundamental assumptions that motivated us to work on the housing bill, which is to guarantee the social function of housing and especially to prevent the alienation of the public park,” Ábalos said in an interview on Cadena SER. Socialist sources assure that the idea was put on the table “months ago” by the Secretary General of Urban Agenda and Housing, David Lucas, who has been one of the main negotiators until the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, came into play.
Housing has not been the only achievement that the two wings of the coalition are fighting for. The struggle to reach young people and the world of culture was carried out by Sánchez and Díaz. The second vice president announced in a ceremony coinciding with the day of the cinema the approval of a voucher of 400 euros for young people of 18 years who will be able to consume in cultural industries. His words went almost unnoticed and headlines were captured by the president who made the same announcement at a press conference in Slovenia shortly thereafter.
The Ministry of Labor subsequently published Diaz’s statements on Twitter. And Belarra finished off. “The budget agreement will include a youth cultural bonus at the proposal of United We Can,” he said on the same social network. On a couple of occasions, United We have insisted that this measure was one of their initiatives, despite the fact that socialist sources say that the idea was raised by the head of the Treasury, María Jesús Montero, to Miquel Iceta. Along the same lines, these sources argue that the cultural bonus was one of the issues that the minority partner was aware of.
Precisely, in the cultural voucher the first rectification of the Government on the budgets has been registered. The Ministry of Culture assured that bullfighting would be included in the sectors that young people could enjoy the bonus since it is a cultural activity in Spain. One in 10 young people between the ages of 15 and 19 went to bullfighting before the pandemic, according to the latest data available from the Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices 2018-2019 of the Ministry of Culture, collected by Europa Press.
For United We Can, it was a “priority” for bullfighting to disassociate itself from that measure, sources from the coalition indicate. Iceta explained that the initiative has to be developed to establish the products or services in which the investment can be made, but Montero has closed the door to it being in the bulls. “The bullfighting sector is left out,” he said at the press conference after the extraordinary Council of Ministers.
This decision has not only generated tension in the coalition, it may also lead the Government to a judicial conflict, after the Toro de Lidia Foundation has announced that it will take this measure to court because they consider that “sectarian discrimination, a cultural censorship and a lack of freedom “.
It has not been the only correction that has accompanied the presentation of the Budgets. Montero has assured that the aid for emancipation “will also be limited by the rental price of around 600 euros”, but the Government has subsequently withdrawn. Executive sources have qualified the words of the Minister of Finance and have explained that the bond will not have this price limitation. Those 600 euros to which the minister has referred, they point out, refer to the rent aids that are included in the State Plan for Access to Housing for 2022-2025. This limit can be increased, depending on the circumstances, up to 900 euros. The limits for the housing voucher will be age (18-35 years), that the beneficiaries have a job and an income of less than 23,725 euros per year.
In a ceremony held together with militants this Thursday, Belarra has named some of the assignments of its formation during the last weeks of negotiations with the Socialists. “We have had to give up objectives that were important to us, the universal benefit for dependent children, the six-month paternity and maternity leave, the elimination of purple taxes, the reduction of VAT for hairdressers and the immediate unlocking of the repeal of the gag law, “he stated at the inauguration of the Universidad de Autumn de Podemos, which will be held until next Sunday in Rivas Vaciamadrid.