Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hobson’s choice

Something drastic had to be done to reduce the level of debt in Bigastro. The council is hoping to tap into 3.7m Euros of government credit to pay its overdue bills but still has to make drastic cuts to balance the budget. Apparently there are a further 6.3m Euros of debt that cannot be included in the plan for credit; it has not been made clear how those bills will be paid.

As one of the measures, the mayor of Bigastro, Charo Bañuls (PP), announced yesterday that they will be reducing the workforce by about 50%. Thirty five of the 100 employees will be made redundant and a further 16 workers in the nursery will be taken over by a private company. She says that this will save 300,000 Euros from the annual budget.

In the budget for 2012, which will be approved next week, there will be further cuts to reduce the total from 5.9m to 3.5m Euros. Amongst the areas affected will be celebrations, protocol, advertising and propaganda and grants; a total of 100,000 Euros.

The opposition spokesman, Raul Valerio Medina (PSOE ) has criticised the redundancy plan saying that it will generate even more debt because of the compensation that will have to be paid to workers who are loosing their jobs. He says that other measures such as reducing municipal salaries have not been considered.

Making workers redundant is the most awful task that any employer has to undertake. It will not be pleasant for the councillors charged with the responsibility for informing the people concerned and will certainly be a huge blow to those who no longer have a job because their prospects for finding alternative employment are severely limited.  

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