“Catalans account for 16% of the Spanish population and pay more than 19% of taxes”
Oriol Amat, full academician of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED) and president of the Catalan Association of Accounting and Management, explains in an informative article published by the Catalan newspaper El Punt-Avui why Catalonia’s funding is one of the hottest points in the sovereignty debate raised by the Generalitat. “There are several causes that explain why a significant number of Catalans think that the future will be better if Catalonia gains independence and becomes a new state of Europe. These are causes like the desire to be, the conscience of the nation, cultural, economic, dignity, the conviction that Spain wants to eliminate its signs of identity… and one that stands out in economic material: the fiscal deficit”, Amat explains.
For the academician, the most equitable method to calculate the Catalan fiscal deficit is the money flow. That brings the negative balance for Catalonia above the 14,000 million euros per year. “The Spanish State concealed this information until the year 2008, when the pressure of Catalonia managed to have the Ministry of Finance publish the fiscal balances of 2005 with methods agreed by a plural group of experts -he argues-. The Catalan fiscal deficit was then between 10.000 and 14.000 million euros, depending on the chosen method.The last calculation is of 2012 and has published it the Department of Economy of the Catalan Government, since to do the calculation requires data that the State provides with several years of delay. Balance quantifies the fiscal deficit between 10.030 (load-benefit) and 14.623 million euros (cash flow)”.
“The State collects a lot in Catalonia and spends little, Catalans account for 16% of the Spanish population and pay 19.4% of taxes, while Catalan participation in public spending is much lower (14%). And if Social Security spending is eliminated, since it is a non-discretionary expenditure for the State, State spending in Catalonia represents only 11% of its total expenditure”, Amat continues.
For the academician, if Catalonia exercised full tax power could end its indebtedness and increase the quality of life of its citizens. “Eliminating this important fiscal deficit, Catalonia will have 15.000 million euros more each year, the Generalitat will generate surplus and in a few years can cancel all public debt. In short, Catalans pay enough taxes to have public accounts sanitation and better welfare (education, health, social spending and, ultimately, social justice)”, he concludes.