Sánchez once again entrusts Montero with public finances, with the challenge of reducing the deficit and debt

MADRID, 20 Nov.

Sánchez once again entrusts Montero with public finances, with the challenge of reducing the deficit and debt


María Jesús Montero (Seville, 1966) will repeat as Minister of Finance in the new coalition government between the PSOE and Sumar and will also hold the fourth vice presidency of the Government.

From the Treasury, it will have to undertake, after three years of suspended fiscal rules, the reduction of the deficit and public debt, which exceeds 100% of GDP after the measures adopted by Covid or the war in Ukraine.

Montero, current deputy secretary general of the PSOE and one of the architects of the Government agreements between the PSOE and the other parties, has a degree in Medicine and Surgery and a master's degree in Hospital Management from the EADA Business School, she held the Treasury and Administration portfolio Public in the Junta de Andalucía since 2013, a department he arrived after spending nine years at the head of the Ministry of Health, which he joined in 2004 at the hands of Manuel Chaves.

She accepted this position after serving since 2002 as vice-counselor of the same department. Previously, she was deputy medical director of the Virgen de Valme University Hospital in Seville between 1995 and 1998. In this year she joined the Virgen del Rocío health complex in the same city, first as deputy medical director and later as deputy managing director.

Apart from her career in the health field, María Jesús Montero was president of the Marginalization Commission of the Youth Council of Andalusia between 1986 and 1988, and later general secretary of the same until 1990. From 2008 and until her appointment as minister she was parliamentary for Seville in the autonomous Chamber.

The most immediate task that you will have to take care of will be the preparation and presentation of the non-financial spending limit (expenditure ceiling), prior to the draft General State Budget Law (PGE) for 2024, taking into account that Brussels plans to reactivate the fiscal rules this next year, after the paralysis due to the economic impact of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the escalation of prices, especially energy.

For this reason, and in the face of such a fragmented parliamentary arc, it will have to make an effort to gather sufficient support so that, for the fourth consecutive year, new public accounts can see the light of day in Spain by 2024.

What has been made clear from the Executive is that the accounts will be prepared based on fiscal responsibility. In fact, the budget plan sent to Brussels last October already includes a deficit forecast of around 3% for next year - in line with what European rules will set - and a public debt ratio next year of 106.3%, which will mean a reduction of 14 points compared to its value in 2020.

This will be based on a macroeconomic scenario that points to a growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2% next year, the creation of 700,000 jobs in 2023 and 2024 and an increase in tax collection of 7.5%.

But in such an uncertain context, the extension of some of the exceptional measures will also have to be outlined to deal with the economic impact of the war in Ukraine and the rise in prices. The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has already brought forward the extension of the VAT reduction on food - which expired on December 31 - until June 2024, six more months.

Specifically, it involves the elimination of the 4% VAT that applies to all basic foodstuffs (bread, flour, milk, cheese, eggs, etc.) and the reduction from 10% to 5% of oil. and the pasta. No comment has been made regarding whether the VAT reduction on the electricity and gas bill will be extended, a measure that also expires on December 31.

But in addition, the agreement between PSOE and Sumar includes the review of taxes on financial entities and energy companies, with the aim of readapting and maintaining them once their current period of application expires, so that both sectors "continue to contribute to tax justice and to the maintenance of the welfare state".

The results of the Temporary Solidarity Tax of Great Fortunes will also be evaluated with the aim of moving towards a new taxation of wealth within the framework of the regional financing model to end unfair tax competition between territories.

Likewise, a 15% corporate tax rate will be set on the accounting profit - instead of on the tax base as until now - to raise an additional 10,000 million.

In addition, Montero will have to lead a tax reform "oriented towards families and coordinated with the social spending policy", which is why an improvement in incentives per child and for dependency and care is proposed, both in personal income tax and in social security policies. spent.

The aim is also to promote an improvement in the taxation of self-employed workers and SMEs, increasing incentives to promote their commitment to the ecological and digital transition.

A Comprehensive Strategy for Productivity will be launched that coordinates public policies in the field of education, innovation, the labor market and technological adoption. To this end, the National Council for Productivity will be created, emulating the one that several European countries already have, to be responsible for monitoring it and establishing recommendations for action to achieve the objectives previously set in said Strategy.