Zapatero makes research priority of 2006 budget

23rd September 2005, Comments 0 comments

23 September 2005, MADRID — Spain's Socialist government approved next year's budget which will make spending on research and development a priority.

23 September 2005

MADRID — Spain's Socialist government approved next year's budget which will make spending on research and development a priority.

This part of the economy, which prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's government sees as a priority, will rise by 28 percent.

But the government is also raising income tax by two percent in order to combat inflation.

It also wants to spend EUR 16 million on an emergency plan to deal with the country's water shortage, following its worst drought for almost 60 years.

Other main priorities for next year will be spending on housing, which is set to rise by 20 percent.

Help for overseas development will go up by 37 percent during 2006.

Zapatero wants to increase the number of scholarships available to school leaving-age children.

His government will also increase help for those receiving non-contributive pensions. Their pensions should rise by 7.6 percent.

But Zapatero must begin a series of talks with smaller, regional left-wing parties on whom his minority government depends in parliament to secure their support.

They will try to demand regional concessions from Madrid in return for getting the budget through parliament.

Overall, the budget take up 3.3 of Spain's Gross Domestic Product.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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