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Horta ,  July 07, 2020

Regional Government to increase investment in health, employment, economy and social area

The Vice-President of the Government presented at the Legislative Assembly in Horta the second proposal to review the Regional Budget and Investment Plan for 2020, which aims to increase investment in health, employment, the economy and the social area. 

According to Sérgio Ávila, it is important for the Regional Government to adapt the Region's main financial and planning documents to these exceptional circumstances, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing the public investment in health aimed to enhance the Regional Health Service's response capacity. 

"The aim is to extend the support mechanisms for the maintenance of employment and household income, maintain the tools designed to increase the liquidity of companies and safeguard all measures aimed at ensuring the stability of installed productive capacity and the gradual resumption of economic and social activity," stressed the government official. 

According to Sérgio Ávila, the proposals presented by the Government and approved by the Legislative Assembly, maintain, for each sectoral investment programme, the global appropriations and investments that were previously planned in all sectors of activity without significant changes. 

"They reconcile the maintenance of the investments already planned with an additional increase in public investment and the financing of the Regional Health Service, which are supported by the increase in financial resources allocated to the Region's Budget," stressed the Regional Secretary. 

Accordingly, the remaining changes in investment actions do not entail changes to overall amount of each sectoral investment programme and result from the normal adjustment of the implementation of the Investment Plan, without changing the amount of planned investments, except for the decisions already announced; the latter concern the cancellation of the construction of the new passenger ship and the suspension of seasonal maritime passenger transport. 

For Sérgio Ávila, “despite the profound change in the situation, we keep the investments provided for in the initial budget.” 

The document presented by the Regional Government provides for an increase of 210.4 million Euros in budget expenditure and a reduction of 74.6 million Euros in the Region's revenue, an increase of 160.6 million Euros in global public investment, which rises to 1,037 million Euros, and the increase of 129.8 million Euros in investment directly financed by the Region's Budget, which grows to 748.8 million Euros. 

This proposal also includes an increase of 95.1 million Euros in the financing of the Regional Health Service: 80.7 million Euros from an increase in direct transfers from the Region's Budget and 14.4 million Euros from the reinforcement of the health investment plan. 

Moreover, the document provides for an increase of 72.8 million Euros in employment and business support as well as an increase of 50 million Euros in the co-funding of SATA's Public Air Transport Service. In turn, the investment planned for the Tourism and Social Solidarity will grow 20 million Euros and 9.5 million Euros, respectively. 

There will be also an increase of 6.9 million Euros in the investment for Agriculture, while the investment for Sea, Science and Technology will grow 1.2 million Euros. 

In terms of revenue, the government official stated the budget review provides for a reduction of 90 million Euros in tax revenue. 

In fact, “57.4 million Euros correspond to a reduction in VAT, which varies automatically according to the allocation provided for in the State Budget,” said Sérgio Ávila. As he added, "the Region receives a percentage of the VAT revenue provided for in the State Budget and the reduction of 13 million Euros in the corporate tax paid by companies results from the suspension of payments on account." 

In this regard, the Vice-President announced that the Region will resort to the authorisation granted by the State Budget for net financing needs amounting to 285 million Euros and for the increase of 46.5 million Euros in the revenue from the use of Community funds, especially through those that were primarily allocated to the construction of the new passenger ship, as previously announced. 

"The goal is to finance the increase in public investment, the additional funding of the Regional Health Service and the reduction of tax revenue without changing planned investments," stressed the government official. 

Accordingly, the Region will use 67% of the amount of indebtedness authorised in the State Budget review, ensuring the Region's financial sustainability. 

"This rigorous option will enable us to maintain the levels of investment and support for employment, companies and household income in coming years without limitations or constraints,” stressed the government official. 

With this option, the Region keeps its financial capacity and autonomy intact in order to maintain the sustainability of public finances," noted the Vice-President. 

According to Sérgio Ávila, the Regional Government intends to continue implementing new measures aimed at increasing economic recovery, household income and employment, without limitations or constraints,” stressed the government official.

"With the new financial tools to be provided by the European Commission from the beginning of next year, and maintaining the sustainability of regional public finances, we have created the conditions for the full use of these European financial resources," noted the Vice-President of the Government.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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