Proposed cut in funding for Madeira ‘unacceptable, grotesque’

  • Lusa
  • 11 October 2021

The head of the regional executive, of the PSD/CDS-PP coalition, stressed the "perfectly unacceptable" decrease of funds provided for in the State Budget for 2022 (OE2022).

The leader of the government of Madeira on Monday considered “unacceptable and grotesque” the reduction of funds to be transferred to the region under the State Budget for 2022 (OE2022), indicating that it will be 12 million euros less.

“I already have bad news, which is a reduction of funds, under the notorious and unaltered Regional Finance Law, of the share of national funds for both Madeira and the Azores,” said Miguel Albuquerque, on the sidelines of a visit to an exhibition in Funchal.

The head of the regional executive, of the PSD/CDS-PP coalition, stressed the “perfectly unacceptable” decrease of funds provided for in the OE2022, considering that Madeira went through a “very difficult situation” in the face of the pandemic.

“It is about 12 million euros that have been cut from the budget forecast due to a Regional Finance Law that was badly done, to constrain the very development of the autonomous regions,” he said.

He added: “We need to change the Regional Finance Act so that it is in line with the principle of economic, social and territorial cohesion set out in the constitution.

Miguel Albuquerque said Madeira was one of the regions most affected by the pandemic, particularly the tourism sector, which is one of the pillars of the regional economy, and there are still “heavily decapitalised” companies.

“With the investments we have made in social support, in support for businesses, in health, the cut and reduction in funds from the State Budget is grotesque,” he said, adding: “It is something that anyone can understand: at a time when we needed the solidarity of the State, funds are still being cut. This is unacceptable and grotesque”.

The proposed State Budget for 2022 will be delivered today in Parliament in Lisbon by the Minister of Finance, João Leão, and will be debated in general terms between 26 and 27 October.

The vote on the OE2022 is scheduled for 27 October and, if approved, the final overall vote will be on November 25.

Although the content of the proposal is not yet known, the growth forecast of 5.5% is already known (4.6% this year) and a deficit of 3.2% – identical to the figure included in the Stability Programme.

Also forecast is a slight reduction in unemployment to 6.5% in 2022, a drop in debt to 123% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and inflation of 0.9%.

In line with this inflation projection, the Government has expressed to unions its intention to increase public administration workers’ salaries by 0.9% next year.

The socialist executive also made an upward revision of the macroeconomic scenario and, in the 2021 and 2022 aggregate, Portugal will recover pre-pandemic wealth levels as early as next year.