Councillor for finance, Joaquín Albaladejo

The financial controller of accounts for the city of Torrevieja has asked the government team to adopt new tax measures and savings within the 2014 budget, as despite recent claims by the councillor for finance, Joaquín Albaladejo, regarding the reduction in debts that his team has achieved, according to the advisor, the government has “failed to fulfil” the requirements.

The situation has evolved in relation to the increase in debts caused by cases of “land grab”, or expropriations performed by the Torrevieja town hall, for which the accounting official has said that the real figure of the amount of debt is 23.3 million euro. In 2012, the amount of debt was 19 million, but failure to effectively deal with the issue then has meant an increase of 3.6 million in 2013, and continues to increase due to interest accruing. The net result for the 2014 budget, according to the advisor, is that the city would need to borrow 19 million euro in order to pay suppliers.

The reports of the financial advisor are seen as being contrary to the statement made by Albaladejo, who claimed a positive adjustment of 8.1 million euro, and saying that the 2014 budget will be achieved without tax increases or a reduction in service. Albaladejo did admit that 16 million euro existed in the 2014 accounts for expropriation cases, albeit under a title of “urban costs”, and that the municipality would probably have to apply for credit to address this.

In the report, the financial advisor has offered a number of positive points however, including an increase in revenue from direct taxes, with the 3.2 million euro collected above the 57 million anticipated is seen as favourable, largely due to improvements in the property market, and a reduction in staff costs from 32 million euro to just 24 million.

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