The Salobreña Town Council has approved the 2020 Municipal Budget on Friday amounting to 16-million euros.
Although the budget was passed with a voting majority it was opposed by the PP, Ciudadanos, Más Salobreña and Vox. Unidas Podemos abstained.
The Mayor, María Eugenia Rufino, explained that the present pandemic situation altered the priorities contained within the budget
“The return to ‘normality’ did not mean a decrease in activity, but rather the opposite, which has meant adapting the budget to these new circumstance,” she explained.
Items that needed to be included were the final outlay for public street lighting costing 720,000 euros, as well as repairing rural lanes.
Street cleaning, rubbish collection and the cleaning of public buildings require more thorough measures owing to the pandemic, which had to be taken into account when drawing up the budget, for example.
Salobreña had a budget surplus of 4,711,715 euros from last year, which has helped cover the extra expenses present in this budget.
The creation of new posts, with their corresponding salaries, as well as a general salary increase across the board did not meet with approval in some quarters. Vox, for example, considered that this increase demonstrates a lack of “empathy” given the situation that many townsfolk are having to deal with.
Podemos considered that some items listed under income were highly dubious, such as “hotel, building licences.” They also considered it as “unsupportive” that only the higher posts received a pay rise, adding that they would not be against pay increases under normal circumstances.
As for the Partido Popular, they consider that the municipal accounts are not “participatory,” claiming that the 2020 budget is a carbon copy of the 2018 one. They fault the budget on a lack of measures to combat the present situation (pandemic).
As for the increase in salaries, party Spokesman, Gustavo Aybar, claims that Salobreña is the 5th town in the province with the highest salaries. (He omitted to point out that amongst those four other municipalities there is at least one run by the PP.)
Más Costa Tropical also criticised the inclusion of hotel, building licences amongst the earnings, stating, “between now and January no hotels are going to be built.” As for salaries, party Spokesman, Juan Collado, says that the personnel (salaries) item on the budget increases from 5,682,000 to 7,105,000 euros, representing a 22% increase and accounting for 45% of the expenses chapter of the budget.
Ciudadanos had the strongest criticism of the budget, describing it as “shameful, barbaric and bare-faced cheek.” Party Spokesman, Plácido Leyva, considers that it does not deal with reality.
Editorial comment: including hotel building licence in the 2020 is far from realistic and it looks like it was included to justify the increase in salaries. It should be noted that the increase in the amount set aside for salaries also includes new posts and not solely the increase in existing salaries.
(News: Salobreña, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)