“We want independence, but in the meantime the hospitals must be well funded.”

“We want independence, but in the meantime the hospitals must be well funded.”

We have three very clear elements. The first is the model of complete fiscal sovereignty, which means collecting all taxes. This is accompanied by two other elements: a fund or transfer to pay for those services provided by the state in Catalonia and a regional balance fund.

For everyone to understand, what real gain would it mean for Catalonia to receive taxes worth 52 thousand million euros?

We do not specify net profit because it should be subject to negotiation. It is a proposal we have been working on for months, which identifies and conducts a full and careful analysis of the current model and what exists in other similar areas. It is also accompanied by a legal analysis.

What does it reveal?

Of the total revenue generated by Catalonia, the State General owns only half of the revenue and collects only 9%. The question here is what do we do with the other half? The model we advocate, beyond numbers, is a valid, rigorous and, above all, transparent process. What we have now, and I'm not saying this but a large number of experts and I think with a very broad consensus, is an arbitrary and vague model. In fact, Fedea's own director, Ángel de la Fuente, claims that the current regional model has a lot of lottery. We don't like the lottery; We want things to be clear, and therefore we want to collect taxes, and from here, so that citizens can visualize how these resources are used, how much goes to education and health…

Why did they launch this proposal in the previous election campaign?

We have received an order from the government to submit a proposal and submit it during the first quarter of this year. In fact, it is also derived from Parliament's proposals. This is linked to the investment agreement. It is a very important task that we had to accomplish. The next government must deal with this issue with all its seriousness, urgency and importance. For this purpose, it will have to reach a consensus, relying on the strength of Catalan society, economic and social actors, and involving the entire political spectrum. In this regard, the PSC has a lot to say.

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The government has already said no, and that in reforming the system all autonomous authorities must intervene.

In the Swiss Confederation it works on the principle of fiscal sovereignty, so each canton collects the taxes that are generated in its territory and works well, or the Canadian provinces or the American states. I repeat: The current financing model in the Spanish state is an anomaly because of its arbitrariness and opacity, because it causes serious harm to Catalonia, because it contains a system of advances and settlements that prevent good planning… It is a model that needs to change.

Given the references they use, are they advocating a federal state?

Our horizon for Catalonia is clear: becoming an independent state. This is not only compatible, but it is absolutely necessary that the materialization of this horizon be accompanied by the resources that Catalonia needs and deserves. For 40 years we have witnessed some dynamics of injustice that must end. It's a paradigm shift. I repeat, the horizon is clear, that Catalonia can become an independent state, but in the meantime we need to properly fund the hospitals. In order to reach the European average in education, we will need an additional 3,800 million, so that we can reach 4.7% of GDP, and about an additional 10,000 million for health. It must be clear that the Catalan economy is growing, strong and dynamic. Last year it grew six times more than its European counterpart, but there is 10% disappearing, which we do not have. We don't know what happens with the 50% of taxes generated in Catalonia. Generalitat owns only half and collects 9%. We plan to move from 9% to 100%. And with a differential element regarding the Basque party: the Regional Balance Fund.

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But regarding this key element, the solidarity share, they do not provide many details.

This should be part of bilateral negotiations with the state, as recognized in the investment agreement between the ERC and PSOE. Two out of three Catalans believe that the state government should collect taxes generated in Catalonia.

Shouldn't the cost of living be a key element?

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We were talking about the anomalies in the current model and this is one of them, without including the cost of providing public services in each territory of the country. No one can understand that Catalonia is one of the regions that contributes the most per capita and, on the other hand, remains one of the last regions in terms of distribution. This means that a person from Catalonia has fewer rights than a person from other regions. This may seem normal because it has been happening for 40 years, not because it does not happen anywhere else.

Although they claim that what has been proposed is legal, legal reforms must be made, right?

These amendments will also be necessary to reform the current common system. There is nothing unusual about it. It will be an amendment to LOFCA, the Autonomy Financing of the Common System and Tax Waiver in Catalonia. It is a matter of political will, not a legal matter.

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