The president of the Diputación de Sevilla, Fernando Rodríguez Villalobos (PSOE), has called not to incur hasty “value judgments” on the municipalities that have a budget surplus but can not yet invest it, also defending that it is “perfectly compatible” a consistory with surplus “resort to indebtedness” for its investments.
In an interview with Europa Press, Fernando Rodríguez Villalobos has evaluated once again the economic situation of the town councils of the province, after the ravages of austerity policies and crude restriction of public spending.
In this regard, let us remember that the 2012 Law on Budgetary Stability and Financial Sustainability regulated that the economic surpluses of the administrations should be applied “to the reduction of net indebtedness”. However, an additional provision to this rule allowed, in certain circumstances, the budgetary surpluses to be applied in investments, provided that they were in line with the concept of “financially sustainable”.
This regulation has continued over the years and, in fact, the additional provision 96 of the General State Budget Law (PGE) of 2017 expressly determines “the destination of the surplus of the local administrations corresponding to 2016”.
Thanks to this, the City of Dos Hermanas recently agreed to invest 811,000 euros in municipal actions derived from the surplus or surplus resulting from the liquidation of its 2016 municipal budgets.
In the same way I act the Consistory of San Juan de Aznalfarache, that a few months ago decided to apply 185.395 euros, fruit of its budgetary liquidation of 2016, in improvements in its municipal facilities.
In the case of Seville City Council, on the other hand, although it closed 2016 with a surplus of 59 million euros, it arranged for a loan of almost 19 million euros for 2017 to cover its investments, programming another loan of 31 million for this year despite the forecasts point to a surplus of 86 million at the close of the 2017 budget year.
In situations such as those described, Villalobos has advocated not rushing into “value judgments” regarding the management or economic situation of each of the municipalities of the province. In this regard, he recalled that all administrations are subject to the Law of Budgetary Stability and Financial Sustainability, which in his opinion can lead to various “particularities.”
And is that, according to the president of the council, it is true that “the fact that a Consistory has a surplus is a clear symptom that is complying with the tax rules mandated by law.” However, the aforementioned law causes municipalities to “have a surplus and yet can not allocate it to investments, because to be able to use it in financially sustainable investments, in addition to having a surplus, it is necessary to have a positive treasury remnant”.
“Moreover, in the case of those municipalities that resort to loans there is no sign that they are doing things wrong,” Villalobos pointed out, noting that if the consistories currently resort to loans “it is because their spending rule lets do it. ” “That is to say, it is perfectly compatible that a sanitized municipality resorts to debt and also has a surplus,” the president summarized.
“THE PROBLEMS OF LIQUIDITY ARE DISAPPEARING”
In any case, Rodriguez Villalobos has said that “what is clear is that the immediate problems of liquidity in the municipal coffers are disappearing.” Good proof of this, as he has argued, are the results of the Extraordinary Fund of Reimbursable Advances (FEAR) that each year puts the Diputación at the disposal of Seville’s municipalities, without financial costs and charged to the own collection of such local administrations.
And it is that, in the case of 2017, annuity in which the city councils of the province have had at their disposal advances for an overall amount of about 70 million euros, the first call for this program was settled with the award of advances for value of 46.73 million, and 20 of those millions were requested for investments and only ten for the refinancing of the long-term debt.
“That means that the local coffers are already breathing and looking to the future with greater optimism”, has defended the president of the council, which in parallel has defended the support of his institution to the municipalities on their way to sanitation and maintenance of public services.
In this regard, he recalled that, in addition to the FEAR, the provincial line of ordinary advances to the municipalities has distributed during 2017 advances worth 250 million euros, “that make the local coffers have monthly liquidity and do not have to wait to the collection periods for this “.