Congress approves the deficit objectives and paves the way for the presentation of the 2024 Budgets

MADRID, 10 Ene.

Congress approves the deficit objectives and paves the way for the presentation of the 2024 Budgets


The Plenary Session of Congress approved this Wednesday, in a second vote and by an absolute majority, the objectives of budgetary stability and public debt for all public administrations, a first step that opens the way to the presentation of the General State Budgets (PGE) of 2024.

On the yes side there have been PSOE, Sumar, ERC, Junts, PNV, Bildu, Podemos, BNG and Canarian Coalition. PP, Vox and UPN voted against. In addition to the objectives, the Rebalancing Plan, a budget roadmap for the next three years, has also been approved.

The votes had to be repeated because in the first attempt there was a tie of 171 votes due to the fact that Sumar's deputy Gerardo Pisarello failed to ratify his telematic vote.

In this situation, article 88 of the Congress Regulations says in its first point that a second vote will be held and, if the first vote persists, the vote will be suspended for the period deemed reasonable by the Congress presidency.

But in the second vote, which was by voice vote because PP and Vox requested it, 350 votes have already been cast, of which 179 were in favor, 171 against, and there were no abstentions.

Objectives that set a deficit of 3% in 2024 for all Administrations, 2.7% in 2025 and 2.5% in 2026. In the case of the autonomies, a target of 0.1% was established for 2024. By 2025 and 2026, communities will seek budget balance.

For local entities, the budget balance (0%) from 2024 to 2026 was also agreed, while for Social Security the deficit was set at 0.2% for 2024, 0.1% for 2025 and 0% by 2025.

Once approved in the Lower House, the stability objectives will now go to the Senate, where they could decline if the PP, which has an absolute majority, votes against. The Government trusts that this will not happen because it would mean removing the ability of autonomous communities and 'popular' town councils to approve their budgets.

However, if this situation were to come to pass, the first vice president and Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, assured that this could happen a maximum of two times, according to a report from the State Attorney's Office. In this scenario, the objectives would be those set in the Stability Program sent to the European Commission last April, which would mean a lower spending capacity for communities and town councils.

The intention of the Ministry of Finance is to approve the General State Budget law (PGE) for 2024 before April. To do this, the non-financial spending limit, known as the spending ceiling, of the State Budget for 2024 is already ready, which amounts to 199,120 million euros, 0.5% more compared to the previous year, including the funds from of the European Union.