The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, has announced that her department is working on a plan to implement tolls on state highways under the European criteria of “whoever pollutes pays.”
This has been advanced during his appearance in a commission in the Congress of Deputies. “We are working on a pricing proposal for the state’s high-capacity road network, based on the principle of territorial equity, road safety and environmental sustainability,” he explained. In his speech, he assured that the plan will be subjected to “a transparent dialogue” with political groups, social agents and the rest of the competent administrations.
The minister explained that Spain has a “significant” investment deficit in maintenance of the road network, to which must be added the highways whose concession has already ended. “In total, we have freed 1,029 kilometers of highways. And this has effects on conservation.”
Spain opened the unpopular debate on highway tolls before the summer and marked 2024 as the year to implement it. Sánchez has justified the need for tolls while the maintenance of the roads has meant an average of 300 million euros a year between 2012 and 2017. “We are beginning to correct it”; has indicated, pointing out that the 2021 budgets allocate 1.24 billion euros to conservation.
Decrees to mobilize millions in housing
The minister has also advanced that her department is working on two decrees to mobilize, in the coming weeks, up to 5,520 million euros for housing policies.
One of the decrees will serve to regulate rehabilitation and social housing and another to promote social rental housing, all within the framework of the recovery, transformation and resilience plan.
Of the 5,520 million, 2,970 million will be directed to the residential rehabilitation of more than half a million homes, 1,000 million to the construction of 20,000 social rental homes, 450 million to tax deductions (also to rehabilitate homes) and 1,100 million in guarantees for the communities of owners.
Regarding the Housing Law, still stuck due to differences between the two government partners, the minister has said that she wants to take it to Congress “as soon as possible” and that her objectives will be to promote a public housing stock and prohibit its sale to third parties.