According to information provided by Spain’s General Comptroller of the State Administration (IGAE) —featured in a report by Catalonia’s Ministry of Economy—, the State failed to deliver €2.2bn worth of public investment in Catalonia between 2013 and 2018. In this period the Spanish administration only carried out two thirds of the public investment projects it had planned for in Catalonia. The total public expense was expected to amount to €6,709m, but only €4,494m was actually spent.
In 2018 that figure was even lower. Specifically, last year Spain’s central administration and public concerns only spent 57.7 per cent of the budget items earmarked for Catalonia, whereas the overall Spanish average was 75.5 per cent for the same year. The actual sum spent by the State came to €757m from a total €1,312m approved in the budget, according to the report.
As for infrastructure spending, the Catalan administration has disclosed the 2017 figures. The Fomento group —which includes Spain’s Ministry for Infrastructure and the public companies that report to it, such as Adif— executed 78.4 per cent of the expenditure budgeted for Catalonia. That is €796m out of the €1,015m forecast and budgeted for. Some employers’ groups had warned that 2017 had been another “wasted year” as far as public spending was concerned.
Madrid takes lion’s share of public investment
Between 2015 and 2018 only two Spanish regions ended up receiving greater investments than initially budgeted for: Aragón and Madrid, with 101.9% and 113,9% of overall spending over the figure initially budgeted. In the same period, the average figure for the seventeen Spanish regions was 75.3 percent, with Catalonia trailing nearly ten percentage points behind, at 65.9 per cent. Public spending in Madrid was higher than initially budgeted for in all three years and it is the only Spanish region where this was the case.
According to figures published by the Catalan administration, since 1991 public investment in Catalonia by the central government has only been greater than its share of the overall Spanish population (16%) in three years (2006, 2008 and 2009) and it has always fallen short of the Catalan contribution to Spain’s GDP (about 19%).