Monday, December 07, 2015

Eighty Million In The Bag

I'm assuming that you won't have forgotten that there's supposedly going to be a tourist tax (aka sustainable tourism tax) from next year and that you may also not have forgotten that the government reckons it could coin in some 80 million from it. Being conservative (with a very small c), CC, the regional finance person, drew up her 2016 budget with a reduced sum - a mere 50 million - albeit that BB, for some reason and despite having been the vice-presidential tourism person who'd dreamt the tax up, thought it wiser not to include anything. You may also recall that they've yet to decide why they want this 50 or 80 million, other than for sustainable purposes, and so have no idea what it will be spent on.

Armengol, Barceló and Cladera, the ABC of the PM(P) government of the Balearics, made their way to Madrid earlier this week. And there, sitting on top of his mountain of gold, was the Count of Montoro, sometimes referred to as the national finance minister. It was, it seems, as simple as ABC. "Oh, Count, can we have 240 million, pretty please?" The Count looked sweetly at Sweet Francina, thought for a moment and replied "why not?". "Have some loose change, Biel," he boomed, hurling a bag of gold coins at the vice-presidential tourism person, who could recognise a "moderately" satisfactory 80 million heading in his general direction and thence into Catalina Cladera's annual budget.

Why only 80 million? Well, that's because the Count has promised that there will be two more bags of coins in 2017 and 2018, both of them amounting to 80 million. The government can count, therefore, on the Count's largesse for being able to pencil in 80 million guaranteed wonga for the next three years, to say nothing of any boosts to the region's coffers if ABC find the next government as easy to persuade as the Count finally turned out to be. Not, or so it seems, that CC knows how the money will be spent. Yet. Well, if you get a sudden Christmas windfall, you wouldn't, would you.

The reason for these bags of gold raining down from the skies is that the money should have been forthcoming for building some roads several years ago. The likelihood is that money from elsewhere was found for this building. So, here we have a government, 80 million better off for the next three years, not knowing how to spend the money but knowing they've definitely got it, while at the same time it is making budgetary inclusions - up to 80 million - for money it hasn't definitely got and doesn't in any event know how it will spend it.

It would be far too simple, wouldn't it.

No comments: