The Government uses article 135 of the Constitution to justify Budgets although the spending ceiling is vetoed

The State Law report that Montero announced is based on the European primacy of the article that PP and PSOE reformed in 2011.

The Government uses article 135 of the Constitution to justify Budgets although the spending ceiling is vetoed

The State Law report that Montero announced is based on the European primacy of the article that PP and PSOE reformed in 2011


The Government hides behind article 135 of the Constitution to justify the presentation of a draft General Budget for 2024 although the Senate, with the absolute majority of the PP, can veto the budget stability and deficit objectives for the second time.

This is precisely the article that the PSOE and the PP agreed to reform at the end of the summer of 2011, in the midst of the economic crisis, to constitutionalize the principle of budgetary stability and establish that the structural deficit cannot exceed the margins established by the European Union for its Member states. Until then, the Government could determine, outside the EU, the content of the expenditure statements of the General State Budgets.

The Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, has been stating that she has a report from the State Attorney's Office that justifies that, if the Senate prevents approving the deficit path proposed by the Government as a preliminary step for the Budgets, they have a 'plan b', which is to follow the stability objectives sent to the European Commission.

According to him, this report, which has not yet been published, allows the Government to use the budgetary objectives set in the Stability Program that were sent to the European Commission in April 2023, provided that those proposed by the Government do not succeed in the Cortes until on two occasions.

In response to an individual who asked to see this report through the Transparency Portal, to which Europa Press had access, the Ministry already suggested that, after that constitutional reform, "the expenditure statements should be prepared in such a way that the structural deficit does not exceeds the margins established, if applicable, by the European Union and the maximum established in the stability objectives approved by Congress and Senate".

Parliamentary sources have confirmed to Europa Press that the State Attorney's report announced by Montero is based on article 135.2 of the Magna Carta to avoid blocking the Government's budgetary capacity: "The State and the Autonomous Communities will not be able to incur a structural deficit that exceeds the margins established, where appropriate, by the European Union for its Member States," it states.

Furthermore, the Budget Stability Law states that the objectives are set taking into account the recommendations and opinions issued by the institutions of the European Union on the Spanish Stability Program.

For now, the PP has already vetoed the Executive's budgetary objectives for the first time in the Senate Plenary Session on February 7. The coalition government has had to return to square one, so that the Council of Ministers last Tuesday once again approved the same budget stability objectives, which now have to go to Congress and then to the Senate.

In these objectives, the Executive sets a deficit of 3% for all public administrations in 2024, with a debt capacity of 0.1% for the autonomous communities and 0% for local entities. For 2025 and 2026, a path of decline in the structural deficit is expected, with 2.7% for 2025 and 2.5% for 2026.

Regarding the public debt objective, the Government foresees 106.3% of GDP in 2024, 105.4% in 2025 and 104.4% in 2026. Finally, the spending rule is at a 2.6% this year, 2.7% in 2025 and 2.8% in 2026.

But the European Commission believes that the deficit by 2024 will be 3.3%. Although he did not make a specific recommendation on the deficit, he did advise Spain to gradually eliminate emergency support measures in energy matters and take advantage of savings to reduce debt.

In this sense, Brussels asked the Government for a "prudent" fiscal policy, in particular limiting the nominal increase in nationally financed net primary spending in 2024 to a maximum of 2.6%. He also recommended that he subsequently continue with a policy of "gradual and sustainable consolidation" in fiscal matters.

And the minister's conclusion is that, with the Brussels objectives, the communities and local administrations, mostly governed by the PP, will have less spending margin this year, specifically one tenth less for the autonomies and two tenths less for the town halls,