The Government has only paid 29% of the ‘NextGen’ funds with one month to go before the 2022 deadline

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As of 30 November 2022, the latest date recorded, so far, by the Intervención General de la Administración del Estado (IGAE), the Spanish government had only paid out 29% of the Next Generation funds – most of them transfers between administrations and money that goes to public investment. However, it is estimated that the payments made will be around 40% by end-December this year. The IGAE report specifically points out that, as of 30 November this year, only 8.237 billion euros of the 28.459 billion euros earmarked for 2022 had been disbursed, with net obligations recognised at 15.743 billion euros.

In fact, this is very similar to last year’s figure, when payments made were 45.49% (11 billion euros). This evolution reinforces the generalised idea that the bottlenecks in the management of this European aid have not completely disappeared. And that, therefore, there is still room for them to reach the “cruising speed” of which the government speaks, according to the newspaper El Economista.

The mismatch between payments and obligations lies in the fact that a large part of this aid has not yet been transferred from the ministries to the corresponding beneficiaries – to a large extent autonomous communities. This is due to the existing management approach which, in cases such as that of Ecological Transition, first has to transfer the amounts assigned to the Institute for Energy Diversification (IDAE), so that this body in turn transfers the Next Generation funds to the Autonomous Communities, and in this itinerary, these administrations proceed with their calls for distribution. This is a very long process that means that the money does not end up reaching the real economy, and its impact on GDP has so far been limited.

Taking a closer look at the execution of payments and, bearing in mind the prioritisation Moncloa has made of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, in economic terms, the Ministry of Economy (7.72%), followed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (12.05%), the Ministry of Ecological Transition (13.51%) and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism (25.13%), with the Ministry of Finance leading the ranking in the management of these funds (87.23%), are the furthest behind in the execution of payments.
According to the execution statistics of the 2022 Budget, and in the case of the deployment of the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, most of the payments disbursed in November correspond to transfers to public bodies, such as ADIF, to the Autonomous Regions, and to Local entities.

Looking at the movements of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda -formerly the Ministry of Public Works-, we find items of up to 524 million euros for the implementation of low emissions, earmarked for local entities, or 471 million euros for the High Speed Railway. Yet there is no payment made for the restoration of fluvial ecosystems. As for Industry, another important ministry, it allocates 99 million euros to the guarantees distributed by CERSA (Compañía Española de Reafinzamiento S.A.) to the Autonomous Regions, and 629 million euros to tourism sustainability plans transferred to the Autonomous Regions.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.