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The Navarre that creates wealth, something smaller and smaller


Published in

Diario de Navarra

Álvaro Bañón

Last summer, Diario de Navarra published a report which, given the dates, went unnoticed, but which provided an alarming data . The headline was "The income of almost half of Navarre's citizens now depends on the public coffers". That is, between pensioners (129,000 then, now 142,000), civil servants (48,000), the unemployed (15,000) and recipients of the guaranteed income (41,000) there were 210,000 people, which is the same as the number of people working in the private sector. 10 months later the status has not only not improved but has worsened. 210,000 people depending exclusively on public income is a barbarity that, evidently, is going to be difficult to sustain. Not only economically, but also socially.

If we look at each of the items, the growth of all of them is worrying. Starting with pensions (in which the Regional Government has no responsibility), the great national discussion always parked because everything that can be said is uncomfortable and not financial aid to win elections. As has been said, in Navarre there are already 142,000 pensioners, with a pension average that is close to 1,400 euros, after the irresponsible indiscriminate 8.5% rise of 2022. This issue of pensioners is 40% more than 20 years ago and is growing unstoppably. This is the result of the increase in life expectancy, which is fabulous, and the aging of the population due to the alarming drop in the birth rate. No one who knows how to add and subtract is unaware that this is unsustainable and that we must either rationalize pensions or they will attack us. And then it will not be smooth.

The growth of civil servants since 2008 has been exponential. Companies and families have "tightened our belts", but the Administration has not. Now there are 10,000 more than 6 years ago and this is not very explainable in an environment of digital administration. Moreover, and this is more worrying, more and more young people want directly "a secure position and not to have complications" and they are preparing to take competitive examinations. One only has to look at the flourishing of preparation academies. If Navarre prospered in the 60's and 70's it was because there were people who "made life difficult" and created businesses. They invested, won, lost, and invested again. They invested with the very noble purpose of making money and with that they generated wealth and jobs work. Navarra was an entrepreneurial community. Now a significant number of young Navarrese aspire to have no complications and get a "secure job" and do not even consider setting up a business or work on their own. We are going backwards. If we continue like this, there will be no one willing to create wealth to pay the 210,000 who live on public income. Moreover, and this is another social problem, entrepreneurs and businessmen are not exactly well regarded. Not only in Navarre, but in all of Spain. Those who risk their money, lose it, pay taxes (if they do well) and generate wealth and jobs work are not usually placed on model of society as in other countries. I believe that Spain is the only country in which a businessman is criticized for giving 17 cancer detection devices to the public health system. And not a few criticisms. Envy is a national and regional sport.

Guaranteed income is another taboo in Navarre's politics. We all agree that we have to help vulnerable families and people and that we have to be a society of solidarity. But 41,000 people receiving the guaranteed income on a quasi-permanent basis means (together with the minimum vital income) 138 million a year. And above all, we cannot boast about it. It is a great failure and the Government's effort must be aimed at making these people self-sufficient. Let them work. Because work, there are. But, and it must be said, the guaranteed income in many cases discourages access to the work market. Right now a person can reject several offers from employment and still receive the guaranteed income. This, at the very least, deserves to be reviewed. We cannot create a permanent pool of 41,000 people who do not work, many who do not accept offers of work, and get paid for it. And as I have said before, the last straw is that we boast about it, as the Government of Navarre tends to do.

Therefore, and without scaremongering or catastrophism, and in my opinion, if we continue on this path, we are heading towards the fact that in the future there will be less and less people creating wealth and willing to take risks, or willing to be employed by others because? And then we will have an unsolvable problem.