The budget project of the Diputación de Teruel (DPT) for 2022 contemplates a record amount of 87,241,194.04 euros, 13% more than in 2021, and is adapted to the current needs of the municipalities of the province. Thus, the largest item is that of the Concertation Plan, which experienced an extraordinary rise from 3.3 million last year to just over 15.5. The objective is to guarantee liquidity for municipalities through a simpler and more efficient instrument when allocating funds for different purposes, in a measure that is complemented with the advance of taxes in the first quarter and the increase to 10 million euros. euros from the Cooperation Fund.
Like last year, one of the fundamental pillars of the budget project prepared by the PSOE-PAR government team is to reinforce direct aid to the municipalities and neighborhoods of the province, in a clearly municipal vocation. In fact, practically 60% of the budget is directed to items that reach the municipalities in one way or another.
The other pillars of the draft are the determined commitment to improve road communications closer to the population, with a global increase of more than 7 million euros in the items for the conservation and reform of provincial roads and rural roads, and the empowerment of educational, cultural and social services as one of the main factors of maintenance of the population.
The president of the Diputación de Teruel, Manuel Rando, who has presented the budgets together with Vice President Alberto Izquierdo, has described the draft as “the best budgets in the history of this county to respond to the needs of all municipalities”, and has expressed his wish that they be approved “unanimously” after revealing that they have already shared them with the other political groups of the institution, with whom they have already held a first meeting.
Rando explained that the Government team’s forecast is that with the incorporation of the remnants that are generated this year, the 100 million euros will be exceeded and that the 5 million euros of the 2020 FITE have not been incorporated, because they are multi-annual.
Alberto Izquierdo has been satisfied because “since we arrived at this house we have managed to increase the budget and therefore increase the use of public resources by almost 50%” and has highlighted the increase in the Department of Roads and Works, which reaches the record figure of 22,483,879 million euros compared to the 8.5 million at the beginning of the legislature, “which means an increase of 62.5% more than at the beginning of the legislature in investment for road maintenance of the province and rural roads ”.
In the draft presented this Tuesday, the amounts destined for conservation work on provincial highways and rural roads experienced an increase of close to 50% compared to last year. Investments are also doubled, counting on the FITES of 2020 and 2021, and it continues to bet on strengthening the technical cabinet for the preparation of projects and expropriations that facilitate the works of the coming years.
Items earmarked for social welfare are doubled
During this legislature, the chapter on social welfare has doubled, from 668,881 to 1,269,958 euros. In 2022, contributions to the telecare service would rise again and another 150.00 euros would be added for an experimental monitoring program for its users and a project to improve pharmacological care.
The chapter devoted to education and culture is also growing, with a new support program for cultural activities that increases its funding by 75% compared to the Unified Plan of recent years, almost 50% more for repair and maintenance of schools and nursery schools and more than 300,000 additional euros for the conservation of heritage.
The 2022 accounts project also incorporates new outstanding headings, such as the almost 1.7 million euros for the development of the network of innovation and telework centers in the face of the demographic challenge, support items for farmers and ranchers affected by the brucellosis and sharka or for the development of a provincial waste project. In general, the chapters continue to bet on improving the endowment of the different services and continue with the modernization of the provincial institution in tax management and information technologies.
In addition, both the president and the vice president have announced the intention of launching a new Plan of Works and Services with the remnants of 2021, “always attending to the requests of the groups” and with the aim that the municipalities can justify the works until the end of 2023, “avoiding many of the supply problems and to find companies with which they are finding now.”
Aid to municipalities
The concertation plan is distributed on objective bases and can be used for current expenditure in the actions that the municipalities consider most necessary to maintain or improve the quality of life of the residents. With the extraordinary increase to 15,525,000 euros contemplated in the budget, city councils will be able to implement the measures they deem appropriate from the first quarter.
The president of the DPT explained that the Concertation Plan “should help the town councils to meet the needs they have and it is a quick money, which would arrive during the first two months of the year and they could use it in works, services, and any other question of personnel or maintenance that each city council wants ”.
This money will be added to the advance of the taxes collected by the provincial institution, a measure launched two years ago by this government team and which transfers a global amount of about 25 million euros to the municipalities at the beginning of the year. “We are the only government team that has established this formula to take advantage of our savings and give liquidity to municipalities, it had never been done before,” said Manuel Rando.
It also dramatically increases the item dedicated to the Cooperation Fund, a mechanism by which municipalities can request zero-cost loans of up to 300,000 euros. It goes from the 5 million of the last two years to double, 10 million euros, far from the 100,000 euros budgeted in 2019. Since the change of the regulation, last February, more and more councils are opting for this Instrument to make investments, cancel loans or clean up your accounts at the end of a year.
In addition to these measures that guarantee immediate liquidity, in the same line of giving direct aid to support municipalities and neighborhoods, the 2022 budget also reinforces the item for the Employment Plan. This action has been shown to be very effective in fixing the population since it allows the hiring of unemployed residents in the locality to carry out all kinds of municipal tasks. The ordinary item this year maintains the 3.4 million that were allocated for this purpose with the remainder, which is more than double the amount recorded in 2019.
The new support program for cultural activities is also a direct aid to the municipalities, which replaces the Unified Plan for Culture and incorporates 300,000 euros more than this, up to 700,000 euros. This new plan is intended to benefit especially the artists, groups and cultural entities of Teruel. In addition, the line for provincial festivals is growing, going from 70,000 to 100,000 euros.
In the educational section, the amount initially budgeted in previous years for the improvement and conditioning works of primary education centers increases, which goes from 300,000 to 500,000 euros, and the line of subsidies created in this legislature for nursery schools. In two years it has doubled from 100,000 to 200,000 euros. In total, added to the 300,000 euros that the DGA contributes and that also represents 50% more than in the previous legislature, the municipalities will receive one million euros for their educational centers.
In the government team’s commitment to education and culture, the 2022 budget also increases again the amount allocated to financing distance universities in the province. After the launch of the extended classroom in Alcañiz, which maintains the 44,000 euros from the previous year, another 44,000 euros are added for the opening of the extended classroom in Calamocha.
In addition, in terms of university education, the draft budget doubles the amount allocated to the agreement with the University of Zaragoza for the Desafío and Arraigo programs, the so-called “Rural Erasmus”, from € 20,000 to € 40,000. The financing of a new university chair for the study of the relationship between education and the territory is also contemplated, for which 20,000 euros has been allocated.
The global amounts allocated to sport also increase with the creation of a specific line for sports sponsorships with 65,000 euros, the increase in the subsidy for CD Teruel, after the upgrade, or the creation of a new line for the Handball Club Mora de Rubielos.
The global amount of the social welfare section grows again, maintaining the amounts that were increased for entities such as the Red Cross, Cáritas, Asapme, or the Spanish Association Against Cancer, and increasing the line of aid for development cooperation to 68,000 euros . In total, social entities will receive 466,000 euros from the DPT.
New lines are created to support the Mobile Mammographic Screening Unit (7,000 euros) and for the implementation of personalized pharmacy projects, with 50,000 euros, and advanced monitoring of telecare users, with 100,000 euros. In these last two cases, the objective is to continue improving the quality of life of the elderly in the territory.
Roads and works
The Roads and Works service sees its budget increased by more than 7 million euros compared to the previous year, meeting the objective of taking a qualitative leap in the communication channels closest to the citizens. One of the items that believes the most in contract road maintenance, which goes from 3.5 million euros last year to 6,420,000 euros this year. The accounts also include the 2.5 million earmarked for road investments in FITE 2021, which will be added to the 2.5 million in FITE 2020.
The amount allocated to the conservation of rural roads also grows significantly in this project, going from 2,195,000 to 4,140,000 euros. These amounts include an increase of 25,000 euros in the agreement that exists for this purpose with the Bajo Aragón Region, up to 100,000 euros. The item of auxiliary means on roads is also increased, which goes from 50,000 to 80,000 euros.
Also relevant is the increase for the Asphalt Plan, which goes from one million to 2.2 million euros, 120% more than the previous year.