The Spanish parliament passed Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's 2022 budget plan with a comfortable majority on Tuesday, giving his left-wing minority government an important win.
"The budget for 2022 was supported by up to 15 parties. This has never happened before. ... We are moving on!" Finance Minister María Jesús Montero tweeted.
Los #PGE2022 han recibido el apoyo de hasta 15 formaciones políticas, un hecho inédito. Enhorabuena a todos los que han hecho posible que, por segundo año consecutivo, España cuente con unas cuentas públicas aprobadas en tiempo y forma. ¡Seguimos! https://t.co/pNfkmHVALN— Maria Jesus Montero (@mjmonteroc) December 28, 2021
Now that the budget has been approved, Spain's political stability looks to be largely secure until the elections in autumn 2023.
Only recently, it seemed possible Sánchez could face the same fate as his Portuguese counterpart António Costa, whose budget plan was voted down by parliament, triggering fresh elections that are due to be held in late January.
Under the budget, Spain will fund its social spending with 240.375 billion euros (271.6 billion dollars), the largest sum ever to be spent on welfare and benefits according to the Ministry of Finance.
Large amounts are also earmarked for research, development, innovation and digitalization.
In real terms, spending is expected to climb by 0.6 per cent to 458.97 billion euros.
Taking borrowing costs into account, however, the size of the budget is actually 4.2 per cent smaller than this year's, coming in at 527.108 billion euros.