Spain to save 10 bln euros with health, education reform

April 9, 2012

The Spanish government, which last month introduced a tough 2012 budget, said Monday it expects to save another 10 billion euros ($13 billion) by making public services like education and health care run more efficiently.

The savings will be made by both the central government and Spain's 17 autonomous regions, a government spokesman said following a meeting between Mariano Rajoy and the education and ministers.

"The state expects that the savings that could be made in the education and health sectors will represent 10 billion euros but that must be done with the participation of the regions. If they are not involved, we can't make these savings," he added.

Spain autonomous regions are responsible for providing education and health care. They account for around half of all public spending.

The government will seek "a greater rationalisation, the elimination of overlaps and in the delivery of major public services," it said in a statement.

The new measures were announced amid growing investor concerns over the central government's ability to control spending by the regions, which has caused yields on Spanish bonds to rise steadily.

Higher yields make it more expensive for Spain to borrow and push the country towards a point where borrowing could become impossible.

Spain must reduce its deficit to 5.3 percent of gross domestic product this year and to the EU limit of 3 percent of in 2013 from 8.5 percent last year in a period of and high .

To meet this goal the government last month approved a 2012 budget that includes 27 billion euros in spending cuts and tax increases, the most austere spending plan in decades.

The government did not provide details on how it intends to streamline public services but said they would be outlined during a meeting at the beginning of May between representatives of the central government and the regions, which are mostly governed by the ruling conservative Popular Party.

Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro said the government planned to define in talks with the regions exactly what health, education and social care services must be provided.

This would help regions to reduce spending and meet their deficit-cutting targets, he said in an interview published in the daily El Mundo.

Spain's regional governments ended 2011 with a public deficit equal to 2.94 percent of national .

The central government has set a deficit target for the regional governments this year of 1.5 percent.

Explore further: France approves soda tax

Related Stories

France approves soda tax

December 28, 2011
France's top constitutional body on Wednesday approved a new tax on sugary drinks that aims to fight obesity while giving a boost to state coffers.

Spain faces brain drain as cuts force scientists to leave

March 29, 2012
With his contract about to run out and no opportunities on the horizon in Spain, paleontologist Diego Garcia-Bellido Capdevila has started looking for work abroad.

EU states angry over cuts of nuclear, satellite projects

November 16, 2011
Britain and a clutch of European Union states are protesting the removal from the EU budget of a next-generation nuclear reactor and an Earth observation satellite they consider vital for Europe.

British minister heckled over health reforms

February 20, 2012
(AP) -- Britain's health minister was angrily heckled Monday over health care reforms that the government says will improve efficiency but opponents claim threaten the foundation of the country's state-funded health care ...

Recommended for you

Amber-tinted glasses may provide relief for insomnia

December 15, 2017
How do you unwind before bedtime? If your answer involves Facebook and Netflix, you are actively reducing your chance of a good night's sleep. And you are not alone: 90 percent of Americans use light-emitting electronic devices, ...

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

December 15, 2017
Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

Office work can be a pain in the neck

December 15, 2017
Neck pain is a common condition among office workers, but regular workplace exercises can prevent and reduce it, a University of Queensland study has found.

Regular takeaways linked to kids' heart disease and diabetes risk factors

December 14, 2017
Kids who regularly eat take-away meals may be boosting their risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Simulation model finds Cure Violence program and targeted policing curb urban violence

December 14, 2017
When communities and police work together to deter urban violence, they can achieve better outcomes with fewer resources than when each works in isolation, a simulation model created by researchers at the UC Davis Violence ...

Your pets can't put your aging on 'paws'

December 14, 2017
(HealthDay)—In a finding that's sure to ruffle some fur and feathers, scientists report that having a pet doesn't fend off age-related declines in physical or mental health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.