“We have managed the worst pandemics. We have survived. Now we have to take another step, we have to take a social agenda, Budgets and public policies to improve the lives of those below. Guarantee our people a good life. And it is not asking for so much.” This is how the second vice president of the Government, Yolanda Díaz, has summarized the position of United We Can in the face of the imminent negotiation with the PSOE to present the draft General State Budget for 2022. A negotiation that will be led by the Socialist Minister of Finance, María Jesus Montero; and for the United We Can, the Secretary of State for Social Rights, Nacho Álvarez, who will start the work in the coming days.
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After a first half of the legislature dedicated to fighting the coronavirus and its consequences, the confederal group believes that the time has come to advance the program that led them to Moncloa. “The Budgets have to serve to unfold the social agenda of the Government. If it is not now, when?”, Diaz has asked in his second speech to the parliamentary group of United We Can that has been issued by streaming. “The usual ones cannot be harmed from this crisis”, he has settled. And he has demanded that the accounts be addressed to “the social majority”, that they “flood everything” and that “they belong to all of society.”
Yolanda Díaz has outlined before the parliamentary group the main lines of the project that they will bring to the negotiation table with the PSOE. The vice-president has indicated that the Budgets of 2022 must give “answer to the social, climatic and care crisis” that the Spaniards face. “They must be budgets of common sense, to favor the social majorities, the whole world. Vote whoever you vote for,” he added.
Díaz has set the priorities that will be brought to the negotiating table with the PSOE. Thus, he has spoken of some Budgets “for those who cannot pay the electricity bill today, for those who cannot afford the rent today. Or for people who do not make ends meet.” “They are people of flesh and blood, they are our people,” he said. “They have to reach, like a small rain, all these sectors,” he pointed out.
The price of electricity is at all-time highs, while compliance with the government agreement to review some aspects of the sector and try to reduce the cost of electricity for the consumer is still bogged down. In terms of housing, three-quarters of the same: the state law negotiated by the PSOE and United We Can, and which, according to the parties, must collect mechanisms to lower rents, accumulates months of delay to which a ministerial change is now added with the that did not count.
The leader of United Podemos has also pointed out to young people “who cannot even have a job” as one of the priority objectives of the 2022 Budgets so that they “do not decide to have children based on public support or family”, but rather because they want it or not. In short, “so that they have a future, decent work, housing, and their recognized benefits.”
Díaz has also had an express message for women, to whom the 2022 Budgets must “tell them that the only way to work is not precariousness.” Let them be “by and for women”. That they have “a strong feminist accent” with the goal of “completing the welfare state.” “We have to solve the crisis of care from the approach of co-responsibility,” he pointed out, to conclude with an express reference to ILO Convention 189 of domestic workers, pending signing and that the Minister of Labor also points out in your own “debit” account of this first part of the legislature.
Yolanda Díaz has also referred to “the huge number of seniors who are living on a minimum pension” and the 25% of children “who are at risk of poverty.” They are not numbers, they are human beings, has riveted.
Díaz asks the PSOE for “courage” to reform the tax system
One of the great stumbling blocks of negotiation will be taxes. The Ministry of Finance plans to make public in 2022 a report by a group of experts on the Spanish tax system that, as Diaz recalled this Tuesday, collects seven points less than the EU average. But from United We Can believe that we do not have to wait that long since that would take the reform they defend to 2023, the electoral year.
The second vice president has thus requested “ambition, courage and naturalness” to review “public revenues” and “modernize the income structure to accommodate the economic relations of the 21st century.” Díaz has cited the Spanish Constitution to conclude that “those who have more, have more to contribute to the public coffers.”
“Budgets must be that redistribute the income and benefits of those who have the most. That is why we are here, to redistribute income and wealth,” said Yolanda Díaz.
Ecological transition “with workers inside”
In a recent interview in elDiario.es, Nacho Álvarez pointed out that there are elements such as the minimum tax of 15% for companies that could be launched immediately, but delayed the imposition of a green tax system “as long as we do not guarantee that there are subsidies specifically directed at lower-income groups” that are affected by the ecological transition.
In this sense, Díaz has called on the PSOE to confront the “climate crisis” with policies opposed to those that the Socialists launched in the 1980s and whose consequences the vice president knows first-hand. “We are talking about big things, about a just transition, with workers inside,” he said, in the face of “the reconversions that did not work and that have turned regions from north to south into industrial deserts, into paradigms of despair and poverty”.
Some accounts from 2022, Diaz concluded, that serve “so that no one is afraid.” “Fear of losing your job”, of “being alone” and that “second chances are guaranteed.”
In the meeting they have also intervened, openly, Yolanda Díaz’s Chief of Staff, Josep Vendrell, and Nacho Álvarez himself. Vendrell, who made his debut in this type of event, has claimed in a brief speech that Unidos Podemos has an advantage in negotiating these Budgets: that Citizens are no longer part of the equation. “The starting point is the multinational progressive majority,” he said.
Vendrell has said that the Budgets have to be “from the coalition Government”, that the action of United We Can should not be left only in its ministries: “Our seal will be on the set of Budgets.” It has also anticipated that the public accounts for 2022 will be delivered to Congress “jointly by the president and the second vice president” and that the parliamentary negotiation “will be joint.”
Finally, Vendrell has ordered the deputies to “do politics with the Budgets so that they are an element of lever, of broadening the social base of the political space” in the face of the tight electoral cycle that is drawn on the horizon and that, if not There are changes, it will distribute almost all the Spanish institutional power in 2023.