Monday, March 4

The Government increases military spending by 25%

There will be an increase in military spending, despite the opposition of United We Can and the rest of the coalition allies. The General State Budgets for 2023 contemplate, in total, a 25% increase over the previous year. The funds allocated to the Ministry of Defense increased by 6.5% and the figure is 8.4% if European funds are taken into account. But the bulk of the increase is due to the special modernization programs, which will be 4,900 million euros. These are the figures that the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, has offered in the press conference after the Council of Ministers that she has given the green light to the public accounts after closing the agreement in the early hours of this Tuesday.

PSOE and United We can close an agreement for the latest Budgets of the legislature

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The minister explained that these programs “do not count towards the non-financial spending limit”. “By 2023, it amounts to 4,900 million”, has indicated the head of the Treasury, who has said that the bulk of the new contracts will go to the national industry (for companies such as Navantia or Indra) and will translate into “22,667 jobs directly or indirectly”. “I think we’ve gotten past that overly militaristic view of defense spending,” she said. Government sources explain that there is an increase of 2,000 million in this type of program compared to the previous year and that there have been no problems with the partners because it does not mean subtracting from the rest of the departments or computed in non-financial spending, as the minister has said .

Despite the strong defense of the increase in military spending, Montero has conceded that the 6.5% increase for the Ministry of Defense “is in line” with what the rest of the departments have experienced and “well below” some ministries with a “social character”, among which he has cited that of Social Rights, led by Ione Belarra, which rose 18%; and that of Equality, which is increased by 14%. Thus, he has pointed out that with regard to the increase in the Ministry of Defense, what is being “undertaken is the salary increase” of the members of the Armed Forces.

In any case, he has insisted that the increase in military spending is also carried out in special programs and has defended that these serve to develop “hybrid technologies that have a high added level.” “Investing in technology is investing in R+D+I”, said Montero, who has ensured that turning this sector into the forefront can be a “spearhead” for others. Sources from the socialist wing of the Government maintain that the minority partner has not put up any resistance given that these are items that end up having repercussions on job creation.

“The third element is that the president’s commitments are fulfilled,” Montero has settled on the discrepancies within the coalition. The head of the Treasury has made it clear that the socialist wing has imposed her position: “The Prime Minister is ultimately responsible for these accounts and, when he commits to his word, the Budgets cover that commitment” . Montero has assured that “if the growth rate continues” reflected in these accounts for defense spending, the commitment of 2% of GDP that was reached within NATO will be reached in the “2027-2029 horizon”. “We will have the opportunity to contribute to something as important as international security,” she added.

No advances in the housing law

The Minister of Finance has completely separated the budget negotiation from the housing law and has recalled that this was already “the closing touch” for the previous public accounts. “We comply. What was agreed for the 2022 Budgets was registered as is in Congress, a different matter is that the groups have presented amendments that have to be negotiated in the field of parliamentary negotiation”, he said in reference to the intention of United We Can to extend the limit of rental prices to all owners and not only to large holders, which was the agreement reached by both parties last year.

“The negotiation begins now,” Montero said about the reticence shown by the ERC spokesman, Gabriel Rufián, precisely because of the lack of progress in that rule, which is essential for the coalition’s allies.