Xavier Garcia Albiol, Spain’s ruling party’s candidate for elections this month in Catalonia, plans to ask Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to limit transfers of tax revenues from the region to the rest of the country.
“I will be the first to ask Prime Minister Rajoy for action to improve the financing system, based on the idea of limited solidarity and shared responsibility,” Garcia Albiol said in an interview Thursday in Lloret de Mar, a town 47 miles from Barcelona. “Catalonia needs more means to attend to its public services and building roads.”
Rajoy has pledged to negotiate a new system to distribute the taxes collected by the central government to the country’s 17 regions. Garcia Albiol’s approach goes against the oft-stated position of Rajoy’s government that it doesn’t make sense to cap transfers of tax revenues from wealthier regions such as Catalonia.
People and companies in Catalonia pay 8.5 billion euros ($9.5 billion) more in taxes than the amount of public funds spent on the region, according to data from the Spanish Budget Ministry published earlier this year based on information from 2011. The Catalan government estimates the gap at 11.1 billion euros.