REF aid for the transport of goods remains frozen despite the state's commitment
CC denounces that the central government "has done nothing" to update the cost of freight and is "suffocating" companies
Five months after Congress requested it and three since the state government assumed the express commitment, the aid to offset the extra cost of freight transport is still not updated, frozen at the reference costs that were set four years ago, despite that the price of freight has increased between 300% and 500% since then, first due to the pandemic crisis and in the last year due to the increase in fuel prices derived from the war in Ukraine.
Article 7 of the Economic and Fiscal Regime of the Canary Islands (REF) establishes that the State must compensate 100% of the effective cost of the transport of goods and that the standard costs for each route are determined annually, although in practice they are not They have updated since 2019.
Aid for the transport of goods has not been updated since 2019, but freight rates have become more expensive since then between 300% and 500% Difference. Although the REF establishes that the compensation must be 100%, in practice it is reduced to 30% due to the increase in costs that is not contemplated. Review. At the beginning of February, the mixed commission in charge of monitoring and evaluating the cost of freight transport was set up.
In the negotiation of the General State Budget for 2023, the Canary Islands Coalition (CC) closed an agreement with the state government to update the reference costs so that the state subsidy for the transport of goods between the Canary Islands and the peninsula is truly 100% , as established in REF.
The claim of which the CC made a banner during the budget negotiation was not new, since in October the deputy María Fernández had already obtained the support of Congress for a non-legal proposal that was approved with the abstention of the PSOE, to put to update the aid and create a mixed State-Canary Islands commission, to monitor and evaluate the application of the compensation system to the transport of goods.
This mixed commission, whose creation has been established in the REF since 1994, was just set up for the first time at the beginning of February, made up of the Department of Transport of the Canarian Government, representatives of the ministries of Transport, Finance and Economic Affairs, in addition to Canarian business associations from the agricultural and industrial sectors, with the purpose of guaranteeing the application of subsidies and the review of the costs of transporting goods and adapting them to the current socio-economic context.
"The mixed commission has been created because we managed to introduce an amendment in the Budgets that required it, but the only meeting has been to establish it, so far not a single paper has been moved," says CC deputy María Fernández, " and meanwhile the CPI keeps going up and costs going up, without doing anything. The abandonment of the Government is suffocating companies », she adds.
Fernández stresses that since 2019, the date of the last update, the costs have multiplied by four "at least", with which the compensation for the transport of goods that according to the REF must be 100%, is reduced in practice at the time of applying it to 30%.
The nationalist parliamentarian recalls that aid for maritime and air transport of goods are part of the Canary Islands jurisdiction, because they are the formula that allows island companies to generate economy and employment under the same conditions to carry out their activity as companies located in the rest of the Community territory, which have more transport alternatives.
For the nationalist formation, the fact that the amount of compensation has not yet been updated to adjust it to the real cost of freight implies, in addition to the breach of the agreement reached, an "indirect violation of the REF".