MADRID – Finance Minister María Jesús Montero presented the government budget for 2022 to President Meritxell Batet of the Senate for approval on Wednesday. The proposal from coalition partners PSOE and Unidas Podemos must be approved this year.
If the budget is given the green light before December 31, it will come into effect on January 1, 2022. Furthermore, it is the largest budgeted government expenditure in Spanish history. Next year, another 0.02% more will be spent than in 2021.
Earmarked from government budget
The budget includes €27.633 billion from the European emergency fund, intended for the recovery after the corona crisis. A record amount of €248,391 billion (3.6% more than last year) is earmarked for social spending (benefits, health care, education) More than €40 billion (9.6% more than last year) goes to investment and capital transfer. €11.831 billion will go to infrastructure, which includes the rail network for high-speed and commuter trains and road maintenance.
Minister Montero describes the budget as ‘just’ and refers to the indexation of benefits, the 2% salary increase for civil servants and the €12 billion intended for young people (including a housing subsidy). In a press conference, the minister announced that he wanted to achieve recovery with the budget on both an economic and social level. With better infrastructure, territorial and social cohesion should be strengthened and all self-employed and SMEs will be supported, Montero promises.
In order to meet the social and economic recovery, the budget in favour of social housing has been increased. Also, education will receive more than €5 billion for the first time. That is 9.4% more than last year, of which 44% is earmarked for student grants.
Growth stimulation for SMEs
2.14 billion from the European emergency fund goes to SMEs and is earmarked for growth, internationalization and digitization. 13 billion goes to research and development (R&D), which is double the budget from last year.
With an investment of €4.2 billion, the government will fight depopulation in ’empty Spain’ in 2022. And, as such, €153 million is intended for facilitating 5G in small municipalities.