Friday, December 3

Well-being badly distributed, that is, inequality

It is not usually the case that all parliamentary formations except for the extreme right coincide in a demonstration. In the three demonstrations held in the Valencian capitals this Saturday, the PSPV-PSOE, Compromís and Unides Podem converged, forces that make up the Government of the Botanical Pact, with the PP and Citizens, who are in the opposition, to claim the Government of Spain fair regional financing. Convened by a platform that brings together the parties and also the unions and the employers, the demonstrations, in one of which the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, participated, are the expression of a demand that comes from afar and that responds for very well founded reasons.

The Valencian Community is the worst financed of all the autonomous administrations with the current model, which has expired since 2014. The Foundation for Applied Economics Studies (Fedea) recently put figures on it. There is a distance of more than 700 euros per inhabitant between the financing received by the community under the common scheme that most benefited from the model, which is Cantabria, with 3,321 euros per capita, and the one most affected, which is the Valencian Community, with 2,618 euros . Four communities are below the average, 2,833 euros per inhabitant: the Valencian Community (215 euros away), Murcia, Andalusia and Castilla La Mancha. The peculiarity is that the Valencian economy, despite this, is also a net contributor to the system.

Nobody disputes these data, but everyone is equipped to defend their interests in the future negotiation of a new model. And as time passes, the Generalitat Valenciana, which is assisted by the central Administration with mechanisms such as the Autonomous Liquidity Fund, accumulates a type of debt that has been classified as “historical debt”. The Finance Minister herself, María Jesús Montero, has assumed on more than one occasion that it is something to correct and assured Compromís that she will present this November a first outline of the new financing proposal. The Prime Minister, in turn, reiterated at the recent PSPV congress held in Benidorm the need to reform the system and promised that he will compensate for the deficit of resources in the Valencian accounts while that reform arrives.

November has therefore become a political frontier to begin to solve a problem that, as much or more than the Autonomous State, fully affects the Welfare State, since we are talking about adequate financing – “fair financing” as claimed in the streets of Valencia, Alicante and Castellón- of the fundamental public services provided by the autonomous communities: health, education and social services.

If there were more “statesmen” in Spanish politics, there would be little to discuss on this matter and the two major parties, the PP and the PSOE, would assume their responsibility in an agreement that, in addition to the negotiation in the Council for Fiscal and Financial Policy , requires a qualified majority for approval in the Congress of Deputies. Tacticism and polarization are the main enemies of this task, which implies a general rethinking of the distribution of resources between the central Administration and the set of regional administrations in favor of the latter, so that no community loses funding in absolute terms.

A central aspect of politics at this point in the 21st century is the degree of inequality among citizens that a democracy is willing to support. It is a gap that defines the real quality of the democratic system in each society. It has been highlighted by Thomas Piketty in reference to economic and income inequalities. But inequality not only has a social dimension, but also a territorial one, and not only affects private income, but also public policies. Spain must preserve equality among its citizens while protecting the diversity and self-government of its territories. The excuses to continue postponing a reform that is of justice and that affects the nucleus of coexistence have ended. Touch move tab.



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