The mayor of Torrevieja, Eduardo Dolón, and the Councillor for Economy and Finance, Domingo Paredes, have presented, after the Local Government Board held yesterday, the draft budget for the next financial year 2024.
These accounts will allow 158.3 million euro to be available next year, 61.59% more than the 2023 budget (87,676,899 euro) which has been extended and does not have investment (61 million euro more).
Domingo Paredes has stated that the 2024 budget is a realistic budget, in budget balance, adjusted to the current socioeconomic context, prepared on the basis of realistic growth and supported by national economic forecasts that, once again, lowers the fiscal pressure on citizens and companies and that will allow the transformation started in the previous mandate to continue, with the promotion of projects such as the reorganisation of the port and new spaces to develop different business lines.
Furthermore, Eduardo Dolón has highlighted that these accounts will put the emphasis on social spending, by making a significant effort to increase the personnel necessary to cover the standards required by the Social Services program contract signed with the Generalitat Valenciana, going on to create new places and fill vacancies. In addition, with aid to entrepreneurs, such as consumer benefits or the freezing of rates and taxes, we hope to improve local commerce and create new job opportunities.
On the other hand, social protection and promotion actions are maintained, such as the Home Help Service, Childcare, the Children’s Dining Program, Equality policies and the Energy Impoverishment Program, SEAFI and telecare.
The chapter of Personnel grows by 25.35% compared to 2023 and all the items recorded in previous modifications and updates are incorporated, such as the productivity supplement or the new positions created.
The budget maintains the tax reductions with the IBI (property tax, commonly referred to as SUMA after the name of the collection agency) at the legal minimum and without updating the main rates to the CPI. In addition, the council assumes the increase in waste disposal rates imposed by the Government of Spain, despite the contract for the service in Torrevieja being extremely expensive as it is, and still lacking in service delivery, as confirmed by the mayor himself.
The budget contemplates a disbursement of €500,000 in direct aid to face the economic crisis through aid that seeks to encourage purchases in the small and medium local businesses.
€43,042,472 are allocated to investments of which 41,585,607 will be executed directly by the Council and 1,456,865 euro through European Funds. A clear commitment to investment with growth that can become a reality during 2024.
With respect to personnel expenses, there is a correlation between the credits of Chapter I of Personnel Expenses included in the Budget, and the Personnel Annex of this Local Entity for this financial year, with a global amount of 39,522,269 euro, experiencing an increase of 25.35% compared to that recorded in the initial Budget of the previous year 2023, including all the modifications and updates provided for in the different LPGE approved in the year for 2021, 2022 and 2023, as well as the appropriations derived from modifications and updates to the Annex of Personnel, especially the one that occurred on the occasion of the incorporation of the productivity complement in the specific complement of the workers of this Council in execution of final judicial sentences.
This item, despite the significant and necessary increase to form the administration of the future that the municipality of Torrevieja demands, constitutes 25.04% of the Council’s budget project for 2024 compared to 32.28% for fiscal year 2023. A balanced and consistent figure with the level of spending and management provided for in these future budgets.
INCREASE IN SPENDING ON SERVICES
The amount of Expenditure on goods, services and current transfers of Chapter II recorded in the Municipal Budget project for 2024 amounts to a credit in the amount of 64,349,059 euro, which represents an increase of 11.64% with respect to this same expense in the previous Municipal Budget.
The total of the budgetary credits allocated for current operations and the expenses derived from the operation of the existing services in this Council can be considered sufficient to meet the obligations required of the Corporation. This chapter represents 40.77% of the total budget project planned for the year 2024, compared to 59.01% of the previous year. Although the percentage is reduced, this chapter increases by 7 million euro.
For the first time, 100% of the Waste Collection, Street and Coastal Cleaning Service is incorporated into the budget. In addition, more than 2 million euro are included until reaching the figure of 5 million in the Parks and Gardens Area. The Local Development Agency (ADL) incorporates 140,000 euro for the business shuttle. In health, more than 110,000 euro are included for the sterilisation of cats. For Education, 100,000 euro more are included for repairs to school centres. The maintenance of sports buildings is increased by 176,000 euro. In Tourism, credits are increased and more than 550,000 euro are incorporated for the different festivals that the town hosts, especially in the summer. And in subsidies, subsidies for elite athletes are increased up to 65,000 euro.
Real Investments for an amount of 41,585,607 euro have been recorded in the Expenditure Statement of the 2024 Budget, financed with debt (loan operations) and with the disposal of municipally owned assets and urban planning rights.
The budget credits for Real Investments represent 26.35% of the total of the Budget project for 2024 compared to 0% of the previous year due to the budget being extended from the 2021 year.
The main investments will go to:
-Repaving And Repair of The Levante Dam €8,698,288
-Realisation Works of Areas Adjacent To The Port €5,340,000
-La Mata Sports Pavilion €5,171,641
-Eras De La Sal Remodelling €5,100,000
-La Plasa Building Remodelling €4,005,000
-Animal Shelter €1,317,661
-Neighbourhoods Program €1,349,865
-Investment In Infrastructures And B.D.U.G €2,600,000
-Other Infrastructure Replacement Investments €5,707,641
-Artificial Grass Renewal at Nelson Mandela Field €985,097
-High Business Technology Centre €100,000
-Completion Of Multi-Purpose Sports Hall €41,350
-Alzheimer Centre €300,000
-Hospital Pedestrian Path €300,000
-Investment Replacement of Infrastructures €1,000,101
-San Roque Civic Centre €150,000
There is another series of investments, equally priority ones that will be included in the budget modification derived from the settlement of fiscal year 2023 and the availability of the remaining Treasury. The investments that are intended to be introduced via budget modification are:
Paseo Playa de Los Locos, which is undergoing approval of the project by the General Directorate of Coasts; the execution of the Business Innovation Centre; the Green Zone of Torretas III; new public lighting renovation actions; actions in the Sports City, which, among others, include: new paddle tennis courts, the new indoor swimming pool and other complementary actions, with a planned amount of €3,600,000.
In addition, road improvement actions, steel work and urban infrastructure are included, including here improvement actions in the Casagrande Industrial Estate.
The income of the Torrevieja City Council for 2024 will represent a decrease in credit of -6.39% (about €3,982,806) with respect to the Municipal Budget of the previous year, mainly due to the reduction in expectations of Income from the Tax on the increase in the value of urban land. The forecast decreases by almost 5 million euro compared to the average of previous years.
The expected income from current operations from Rates, Public Prices and other income amounts to 17,589,445 euro, which represents an increase of 53.63% compared to the Municipal Budget of the previous year, representing 11.14% of the total income budget for 2024. The increase not only comes from the lifting of the suspension of the application of the Tables and Chairs and Occupation of Public Spaces Ordinances such as fixed and mobile markets, stalls, booths and kiosks, but from the increase in new registrations produced in the last 3 years of approximately 50% of the data from previous years. With this, the rates continue not to be updated to the CPI, the Government team freezing all rates and thus promoting job creation and commercial revitalisation.
Finally, the forecasts for the Complementary Financing Fund increase, which goes from 16 million euro to what the Council has been receiving in recent years, 20.2 million euro.