In 2015, Catalonia will receive the lowest investment from the Spanish Government in the last 17 years, in relative terms. The Executive chaired by Mariano Rajoy will only spend 9.5% of the territorial investments in Catalonia, despite the fact that the Autonomous Community accounts for 19% of Spain's GDP and 16% of the country's population, as was announced on Tuesday. The percentage is even lower than last year's, when the Spanish Government allocated 9.6% of the territorial investments to Catalonia, which leads Spain's economy. In the current political climate, when the relation between Catalonia and Spain is seriously questioned by a majority of Catalans, such figures are far from supporting the "better together" way.
Furthermore, they do not support economic recovery, since Catalonia's is leading Spain's exports, industrial and tourism sectors, which need high level infrastructure. Such low investments will add to decades of infra-budgeting for Catalan infrastructure, as was recognized by the Spanish parliament in 2005. In order to balance this historical deficit in investments, a law was approved to oblige the Spanish Government to allocate to Catalonia at least the equivalent of its weight with Spain's GDP between 2007 and 2013 (equivalent to 19%).
It was never respected and last year the investment was particularly low (9.6%), coinciding with the first budget prepared after a majority of the Catalan society put upfront its self-determination demands. The Catalan Government has regretted that the Spanish Government is not investing in the most productive part of Spain.
In addition, linking it to the current political situation, the Catalan Executive's Spokesperson, Francesc Homs, stated that these figures do not reflect Rajoy's earlier claims to be willing to talk to Catalonia and address its problems. Homs accused the Spanish Government of having prepared this budget with the "direct intention" of going against Catalonia.
The Spanish Government is planning to invest €1,072.26 million in Catalonia in 2015, with almost all the funds coming from the Public Works and Agriculture ministries. This represents 9.5% of all the investments the Spanish Government will be making throughout Spain. The percentage is half the weight of Catalonia within Spain's GDP (19%) and it is very far from what it represents in population terms (16%). Furthermore, last year the percentage was already extremely low, with 9.6% of the resources.
In 2014 the percentage was higher although the global resources were smaller, amounting to a total of 944.6 million. This year, the Spanish Government will invest 127.84 million more in Catalonia, but the increase in investment will be very far from the Spanish average investment increase, and therefore Catalonia's percentage is being reduced.
Catalonia will also have one of the lowest investments per inhabitant in 2015, with only 145 euros per inhabitant. This low figure is only surpassed by the Balearic Islands (€124) and the Canaries (€127). They are extremely far from the €699 per inhabitant in Castilla-y-León, the €504 euros in Galicia, the €391 in Cantabria and the €336 in Extremadura, all run by the People's Party.
In fact, during the People's Party government, Catalonia has been the most affected Autonomous Community by the cut of funds, with a 57.9% reduction, way above the Spanish average.