The Junta de Andalucia has confirmed that the 2012 budget for the region will be 23,020 million euros, about 3,5% higher than last year, and the first time in 2 years that the budget has increased. Well, it’s an election year, and they have votes to purchase.
The Junta has -well, lets say annoyed– many by refusing to publish a province by province breakdown of how much money each province will expect to receive. This is the first time ever it hasn’t done so, which has allowed the PP to claim they are pulling the wool over the voters eyes. The Junta says that the budget has to be “flexible” and that the money is being allocated where it is most needed, instead of just being carted to the provinces by the lorry load.
The motorway connection between Baza and the A-92 on the Almanzora motorway will continue, promises the Junta, in one of the few major public projects mooted to go ahead next year – albeit with a large wad of private cash via their “german method” of dodgy financing.
Current education levels are “guaranteed” says the Junta, which has promised to keep budgets on education, health and social services at the same levels for next year. 596km of rural roads across the province will be resurfaced next year as part of “Plan Encamina2”, strangely enough, although the tram line in Almeria city is still rather nebulous.
There are barely any major public works confirmed in the budget so far, and the only ones that have been confirmed are ones like the Almanzora motorway which are currently being built. Austerity hasn’t hit this budget, but economists reckon that if the regional economy continues to contract, then the region will run out of cash by the second half of next year, causing emergency budget cuts across the board by whoever gets in after the May(?) elections.