Monday, 20 November 2023, 11:36
Francisco Salado, head of the Diputación, Malaga's provincial authority, has outlined the 2024 budget at a press conference and announced it is expected to amount to 441.3 million euros, some 2.4% more than this year.
The figures are pending approval of a plenary session to be held in December, though this is a mere formality thanks to the absolute majority enjoyed by the ruling Partido Popular. The budget will focus on combating the drought crisis and will also see an increase in investment in social spending. In addition, the budget includes an allocation for the Malaga city auditorium, planned for a San Andrés site.
"The budget focuses on continuing to fight the drought with works and improvements in water supply and recycling, as well as helping the most vulnerable people and families," Salado said. He also detailed the allocations for the various bodies linked to the provincial authority: The Provincial Revenue Board (41.6 million euros), Tourism and Planning Costa del Sol (15.37 million euros), the Provincial Consortium of Firefighters (29.89 million euros), the Provincial Consortium of Urban Solid Waste (33.84 million euros), the Integral Water Consortium (4.28 million euros) and the consortia of the northeastern area of Malaga and the machinery park of the Axarquía, as well as the Madeca Foundation, which total 1.3 million euros.
The allocation for the provincial authority alone for 2024 is 315.51 million euros. The bulk of this is earmarked for social spending, with 98.8 million euros. The municipalities of Malaga province, including the Costa del Sol, will be able to count on a total transfer of 64.4 million euros, of which 36.2 million euros are for investments and 28.2 million euros for current expenditure and unconditional funds. Aid to the agri-food sector and to businesses, amounts to 6.9 million euros.
For investments in infrastructure to guarantee water supply, 3.4 million euros have been earmarked for water projects in towns with less than 20,000 inhabitants. These areas will be able to count on credit lines totalling 10.3 million euros for works or projects aimed at "combating drought".
The Axarquía region, which is the most affected by the lack of water, will receive an extraordinary investment of 15 million euros. According to Salado, this is a "special investment plan” for hydraulic works and improvements to drinking water supply, such as reservoirs, wells, treatment plants and piping. In addition to these funds there will be a further 4.28 million euros from the Water Consortium and it is also expected that part of the 12.9 million euros budget from the Mayors' Office will be available to finance emergency actions.
Salado took the opportunity to address all the mayors of the province and ask for their active collaboration in the fight against the drought. "I must once again call on the mayors to prioritise hydraulic works and water management, to repair leaks and breakdowns. And to draw up technical projects within their means. We can reach this first year of the legislature's commitment to invest 200 million euros over the next four years. But we need the town councils to help us," he said.
The Malaga city auditorium will have a budget of 100,000 euros. Progress is being made to obtain the land to locate the infrastructure on a site in the San Andrés area Salado said as he appealed to the Madrid government to make a decisive contribution to facilitate the necessary investment. The budget also includes contributions for the roof of Malaga cathedral (one million euros) and the construction of two new fire stations: in Rincón de la Victoria and Pizarra.
Salado also remarked on the investiture of Pedro Sánchez. He accused the PSOE leader of creating a "political uncertainty" that makes it difficult to face the future with certainty. He also predicted that the agreement with parties such as ERC and Junts will result in a funding deficit for the province.
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