The President announces in Parliament reinforcements for public transport, aid for the primary sector and transport, and social policies in the first regional plan to respond to the conflict.
The Government of the Balearic Islands will deploy a shocking plan against the impact of the war in Ukraine on the archipelago that will complement the measures announced by the Spanish Government. This was announced this Tuesday in a parliamentary appearance by the President of the Government, Francina Armengol. These are 25 political initiatives that will involve an investment of 100 million euros and are related to humanitarian aid, support for families and vulnerable groups, and protection of the productive fabric, especially in the most affected sectors, such as transport and the primary sector.
During the appearance, which was voluntary and focused on the Government’s response to the effects of the war in Ukraine, the President condemned the Russian invasion and thanked the whole of society for having “opened the doors of our community to the victims of the humanitarian disaster”.
“The pandemic has made it clear to us that the right path was the one we had chosen. That we had to continue to strengthen public services. That we had to reaffirm our commitment to sustainable and circular development, to the promotion of new industries, to the modernisation of all sectors and to the training of increasingly qualified and better-paid professionals”, explained Armengol, who wanted to convey a message of confidence because “if we have overcome what we have overcome, we deserve to believe in our abilities as a resolute and committed society”.
Armengol defined the plan announced today as a plan “for all of us” that demonstrates “that we know how to overcome selfishness and provide collective responses”, with the certainty that “we are a strong and cohesive society” that “can now say that any challenge we face will be a challenge overcome. From unity, justice, dialogue and generous effort”.
The President also thanked the social and economic agents, as well as the opposition parties that have joined together in the Government to weave together measures such as those announced today. The Balearic Islands have thus become the first autonomous community to approve an action plan that incorporates direct aid and family protection policies. The measures announced by the President today mobilise more than 70 million euros directly and a further 36 million through liquidity and financing lines:
- 15% increase in the amount of the guaranteed social income.
- Increase in the investment earmarked for canteen subsidies.
- Four calls for new subsidies to alleviate energy poverty, guarantee food, support vulnerable people and finance community social services to deal with new social emergency situations.
- Reinforcement of teaching staff, incorporating up to 68 new professionals, to guarantee integration and take on schooling.
- Extension of TIB frequencies and timetables from the first week of April; reinforcement of the rail transport service, doubling trains at rush hour; the commitment to maintain current public transport fares, and a five-euro voucher for new users of the intermodal card, three measures related to public transport that add up to twelve million euros.
Measures for the productive sectors:
- Reduction of taxes on shipping companies that transport goods.
- Direct subsidies to compensate for the increase in fuel prices in the transport sector (5.6 million euros).
- Establishment of review clauses in public sector contracts with transport companies.
- Streamlining of all renewable energy installations, reducing procedures by half.
- Modification of regulations to allow price reviews of ongoing contract awards in the face of rising material costs (at least 37 million euros).
- Aid for freight transport of raw materials in the primary sector.
- Aid to fishing vessels to cope with the increase in fuel prices.
- Exemption of fishing vessels from port taxes in the ports of the Balearic Islands.
- Lines of credit and liquidity through ISBA to mobilise up to 6 million euros for companies in the primary sector.
- Activation of the CAP anti-crisis reserve fund for the agricultural and livestock sector.
- Commercial bonds to stimulate consumption.
- Increase in ISBA credit and liquidity lines for non-agricultural companies.
- Extending the maturity of ISBA credits.
- Establishment of review clauses in public sector contracts to provide public services.
The 100 million euros announced today will complement the state plan, which includes, according to the president, many of the demands of the Balearic Islands that arose from the Pacte de Reactivació, among which she highlighted the success of decoupling the price of electricity from the price of gas or the lengthening of the maturity of ICO credits, of which Balearic companies now have 4. 900 million euros and that the Government of Spain announced that they were increasing by 10,000 million more, with a forecast that approximately 400 million will reach the Islands.
In addition, Armengol welcomed the fact that direct aid to sectors such as the primary sector and transport, the increase in the minimum living income and the limitations on rental prices have been put into effect, as well as the increase in the social electricity subsidy, which will mean that 15,000 people in the Balearic Islands will now receive 22,000, rather than 15,000. Finally, the President called for a reduction in fuel prices, a measure that will save consumers in the Balearic Islands 43 million euros.
These packages are expected to reverse the inflationary spiral and, in fact, Armengol explained that the economic forecasts after the application of these measures predict that the recovery that began after the pandemic will not only continue, but that in the weakest scenario the Balearic Islands will grow by at least 10%.
At the same time, the President reminded the audience that the Government is supporting the State in the reception of refugees, and thanked the Mallorca Hotel Business Federation for offering 350 temporary places. Armengol explained that the government will promote family accommodation and, for this reason, income tax deductions will be introduced for people who take in refugees or make donations to help the victims of the conflict.
Accompanying measures are also being put in place, such as the issuing of health cards, schooling for children, registration with the Servei d’Ocupació de les Illes Balears and initiatives such as the one announced today by the president: free travel on TIB buses for refugees.