Seville will reuse €21 million of the surplus in 2021 budget to reinforce the economic and social reactivation measures

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The Seville City Council will reuse the 2019 surplus for the first time in recent years to guarantee the maintenance of public urban transport services, waste collection and street cleaning and to promote the Emvisesa municipal housing plan. This operation, which reaches 21 million euros, will allow the reinforcement in the 2021 budget of measures that contribute to the economic and social reactivation of the city. The proposal, initially agreed with the political group Ciudadanos, has also had the favorable vote of Adelante Sevilla, and has not obtained any contrary vote. 

Specifically, the Plenary today approved the incorporation of the surplus registered by the Tax Agency, ICAS and the Alcázar in 2019. Of the amounts accumulated by these autonomous bodies, in accordance with the criteria of the Treasury and the General Audit, they have been considered available for reuse a total of 21 million euros. Current regulations require that this money be executed before the end of the year or, otherwise, the City Council should wait until the settlement of 2020, already into 2021. 

For this reason, the Treasury area has prepared a proposal to reuse the surplus for its execution this year, dedicating these savings to guaranteeing the operation of public services and advancing resources that were going to be incorporated into the 2021 budget. Thus, a transfer of 17 million euros to Tussam to mitigate the losses that have occurred this year and carry out necessary investments; a contribution of 3.2 million euros to Lipasam for investments and a capital increase of 1 million euros for Emvisesa within the new municipal housing plan. 

This operation will make it possible to advance this money and therefore release a similar amount of 21 million euros in the 2021 budget project. The objective now is to allocate these new resources generated to reinforce the measures approved by the economic and social reactivation commission unanimously. The priority will be given to health protection, aid to economic sectors affected by the crisis, job placement, social protection, sustainability and the fight against climate change, digital transformation, public heritage and facilities. 

Photo source: sevilla.org

“We have made a decision that for many years has been impossible for Spanish city councils, such as reusing savings to improve public services. We have recovered part of the autonomy that we lost when a law of the central government of the legislature of Mariano Rajoy forced all the remnants to dedicate themselves to paying off debt in advance. It is a prudent and rigorously designed measure. Now, we must continue to move forward and from the Seville City Council we demand that the central government compensate the municipalities for the deficit in income in public transport and for all the expenses that have been incurred in this year despite the fall in income”, explained the mayor of Seville, Juan Espadas, after the approval in plenary session of the agreements for the use of the surplus without any vote against. 

For her part, the delegate of the Treasury, Sonia Gaya, highlighted that Seville is one of the first cities to put its surplus to use in this especially difficult year due to the health crisis: “We have approved an operation designed with the same seriousness and legal certainty that has allowed the City Council to arrive at this time, despite the serious difficulties of 2020, with budgetary stability and with savings that can be put to use. Now, the objective is that we soon agree on a budget for 2021 that allows us to reinforce public services, maintain investment and have Seville prepared to execute the recovery funds of the European Union as soon as they are available”.