Record budget of 3,595 million euros approved for 2023The Full Council has approved the municipal budget for 2023 with votes from the city government and the previously agreed abstention of the ERC. The municipal coffers for the next financial year are set to swell by 5.6% and reach a record total of 3,595.9 million euros. At nearly 900 million euros, investment centres around four main areas: covering people’s basic needs, tackling the social emergency caused by the current instability, addressing the economic recovery and continuing the transformation of the city and its neighbourhoods.
The agreement with the ERC this week enabled the budget to get through the debate and vote by the Full Council, ensuring the figures for the next year were approved. The deal includes the introduction of a shock social and economic plan for 100 million euros to mitigate the effects of inflation in the economy of families, SMEs and the self-employed.
In all, the budget means an additional 189.6 million euros compared to the current financial year, which will be used to strengthen social policies, culminate urban transformation projects started during the current term of office and pursue measures for economic recovery.
The growth in income us based on special contributions from the Spanish state, with the participation of state revenue (PIE), plus funds from the surcharge and tax on overnight stays in tourist accommodation (IEET), which is growing at the rate this sector is recovering in the city.
Current tax rates will also be maintained, including the 75% discount on the tax on terraces. As a new aspect this year, citizens paying more than two different municipal taxes via direct debit will be offered a flat rate option to roll their payments into a fixed monthly amount.
Expenditure to cover the activity of public services will reach 2,235 million euros this year. The main budgetary item is for social services policies and, social promotion, with 408 million euros. The municipal priority continues to be support for the most vulnerable and those affected by the current situation with inflation.
Improvements to public space and security
Services to improve public space (including waste collection, cleaning and sewerage) will receive 403 million euros.
The budgetary item for citizen security and mobility is 370 million euros, which will allow the City Police to boost its ranks by 1,000 new officers. This will bring the number of officers in the city to a record 3,500.
The processes started during the current term of office have enabled the percentage of women taken on by the corps to reach 40%.
Priority is also being given to the economic recovery. The package of 106 million euros will be used for policies to promote, strengthen and diversify manufacturing sectors in the city.
The budget also includes a package of 22 million euros for direct subsidies for SMEs, the self-employed and the unemployed to address the economic situation caused by instability and the rise in energy prices and consumption.
More investment to culminate urban transformation
Some 884.1 million euros will be used (including 124.6 million to be executed by BSM and the Municipal Institute for Housing and Renovation) to boost the construction of public housing and culminate urban transformation projects in the city’s neighbourhoods.
Investment to the tune of 338.1 million euros will be used on works already under way, such as the project to transform Av. Meridiana, Les Glòries, the connection of the tram systems, the transformation of Via Laietana and La Rambla, the green streets in L’Eixample and the new Olympic Port. Additional projects include the work planned for the Túnel de la Rovira and the studies to continue to cover the Ronda de Dalt.
Investment should reach all neighbourhoods through projects such as the participatory budgets (17.4 million euros) and the Neighbourhood Plan (23.4 million euros), plus long sought-after projects such as those for the Pont de Santander, the Interiors de Canyelles, the transformation of Pi i Maragall and the reurbanisation of Av. Madrid in Les Corts.
Other notable investments include improvements to facilities such as the Abaceria and Horta markets, cultural centres such as the Fabra i Coats and the library in Sarrià, the conversion of the former Pere IV cinema to house the Ramon Alós Library and the enlargement of the primary medical centre in Sant Martí.
A special fund of 50 million euros is also planned for major investments in the city’s districts as a whole.
Stability and financial solvency
The budget guarantees municipal financial solvency. It should achieve a gross saving equivalent to 17% of current revenue and borrowing of around 30%, with an average payment time for providers of 18.8 days, well below the established limits.
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