Brussels (EFE).- The European Commission (EC) recommended this Wednesday to Spain that it limit the increase in primary public spending to a maximum of 2.6% in 2024 to achieve the cut in the structural deficit of 0.7% that it is asking for that year, equivalent to 9,289 million euros.
The report of the Community Executive already anticipates that Spain will comply with this recommendation since it calculates that the increase in primary spending will be 1.4% next year, according to its Spring macroeconomic forecasts, published at the beginning of this month.
“Taking into account fiscal sustainability considerations and the need to reduce the deficit below the reference value of 3% of GDP, an improvement in the structural deficit of at least 0.7% of GDP by 2024 would be appropriate,” he points out. the Community Executive in its fiscal policy recommendations for Spain with a view to drawing up next year’s budget.
To ensure this improvement, adds the Commission, the growth of nationally financed net primary spending -without taking into account interest payments, unemployment benefits, European funds and discretionary income measures- “should not exceed 2.6%” in 2024.
The Community Executive recalls that the Stability Program that the Government sent to it in April foresees that in 2024 the public deficit will be reduced to 3% of GDP, “in line” with its own projections, which place it at 3.3%, and the public debt falls to 109.1%, the same level that Brussels foresees.
Maintain public investment levels
At the same time, the European Commission suggests that Spain maintain public investment levels and guarantee the “absorption” of aid from the recovery fund and funds from other EU programmes.
In fact, it urges the Government to “maintain the momentum” for a “rapid” execution of the Spanish recovery plan and also to present its update soon to have access to another 10,000 million in direct aid and 84,000 million euros in credits that the country has assigned.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs celebrated that the European Commission “confirms that the fiscal path presented by Spain will comply with the fiscal requirements demanded by 2024” and considered that “the fiscal responsibility of the Government and the growth forecasts of the Spanish economy guarantee the sustainability of public accounts in the coming years.
Withdrawal of energy measures
Within this chapter of fiscal recommendations, the Community Executive asks Spain to withdraw at the latest by the end of 2023 the aid deployed in the heat of the energy crisis, which it currently estimates at 0.6% of GDP, starting with the most universal .
Brussels refers, for example, to the reductions in VAT on gas and electricity, which have been extended precisely until the end of the year, and proposes to the Spanish authorities that they use the “savings” derived to “reduce the public deficit”.
Protection of vulnerable homes and businesses
The text adds that, in the event that energy prices soar again and new measures are necessary, these must be aimed at protecting “vulnerable” households and companies, as well as being “assumable” from the point of view of fiscal point of view and must “preserve the incentives to achieve energy savings”.
Along these lines, the recommendations also urge Spain to continue reducing the use of fossil fuels and accelerate the deployment of renewable energies, for example, by simplifying and digitizing authorization procedures, improving access to networks and investing in energy storage and interconnections. cross-border
In the same way, it asks the Spanish authorities to increase the availability of energy-efficient houses through measures such as the renovation and electrification of buildings, as well as to support the training of workers necessary for the green transition.