TORREVIEJA SET TO LOSE MAJOR REVENUE STREAM
Maintaining their commitment to total transparency, Orihuela´s councillor for Internal Affairs, Víctor Ruiz, announced the findings of the padrón cleanup operation carried out by the Institute of National Statistics this week, detailing how Orihuela has lost 8,000 residents as a result of the audit, mostly British nationals, resulting in both a significant decline in the population, and confirmation of the numbers of ex-pats who have left the area.
Torrevieja meanwhile did not provide the data for the findings of their audit, but it was revealed in a respected Spanish newspaper that they look set to lose some 15,000 residents from the 1st of January 2015 for the same reason, the equivalent of 14% of the population, dropping from 107,000 to 91,400 registered residents.
The audit has been ongoing on behalf of the central government across the whole country, and in August of last year, both these town hall received notification of the facts that an audit was to be carried out, in order to correct registrations for residents who may have moved away, died, or had simply not renewed their status. A campaign was then launched to encourage residents to both check and confirm their status, which was duly done by many residents.
As the process continued, initial concerns in Orihuela that they faced the prospect from initial estimates of losing between 17,000 to 18,000 residents, some 15% of their population, over 9,000 people confirmed their questionable status, some done following a visit from the police, to which the remaining figure of 8,000 to be removed was reached.
However, the figure in Torrevieja has far worse consequences that might seem apparent at first, because in losing their 15,000 residents, and therefore now having an official population of 91,400, it means that Torrevieja falls below the 100,000 threshold required to be classed as a “big city”, a situation which has not been present since before 2007, which may well have dire consequences for the management of the budgets and public services in the immediate future.
If this is the case, not only will Torrevieja now lose the funding of those 15,000 people from the budget allocated from the central government, the actual amount of money per head is lower for municipalities which fall below the 100,000 threshold, as is the case in Orihuela.
As many people still deny the numbers of immigrants who have left Spain, this latest data only adds confirmation to the facts. However, there are also a sizeable number of people who are still not registered on the padrón. In Orihuela, this figure is somewhere between an estimated 10,000 and 15,000 people.
As the population gap between the two municipalities continues to close, with Orihuela getting set to match Torrevieja within a very short time, the data also proves to show how significant it is to not register on the padrón. Torrevieja may well face a budget nightmare, lack of funding and even more cuts in the future, with even the possibility of indirect and direct tax increases to plug the gap that this will make, by not being on the padrón, you are potentially directly responsible for a possible reduction in service. Meanwhile, for Orihuela, as the population grows there, it is not too far a leap to go over that 100,000 benchmark, thus increasing the revenue and the cost per capita that Torrevieja will now have to suffer.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/43908/