Spain to invest more in Education and R+D in 2006

The Spanish government announced increased investment for education , research and pensions yesterday as it outlined the budget for 2006.

Pedro Solbes, Spain’s Finance Minister, said the government had based its budget on an expected economic growth of 3.3% next year, and that the overall budget would slightly exceed the said economic growth. Solbes said investment in education would rise by 16 percent, funds for research by 28 percent and that more money than ever would be set aside for the payment of pensions.

Although this is the socialist government’s second budget since winning the 2004 elections, according to Solbes, last year’s budget was conditioned by spending carried out as a result of decisions made by the previous PP government.

The Finance Minister said this year’s budget is a much truer reflection of the socialists’ priorities.

Education, research – with emphasis on new technologies,- housing and pensions are the biggest beneficiaries of the government’s budget for 2006.

Pedro Solbes will explain the budget in detail before Congress next Tuesday and any ammendments will be debated and voted on in October and November. Both IU and ERC, the Communist and Catalan Separatist parties, have indicated their intention to support the government’s 2006 budget proposal.