Lisbon, June 9 (Lusa) – The Portuguese Secretary of State for Local Authorities in pariament on Friday estimated that the decentralisation process will cost, “in excess of €1 billion” and that all sector diplomas to achieve it will be ready by next week.
“We are talking about something over €1 billion for this decentralisation of powers to municipalities,” Carlos Miguel said at a parliamentary hearing of the working group on decentralisation.
The minister explained to the members of the house that teh cost of transferring responsibilities to municipal couoncils are not yet final, but they are “already very close to reality” and that the ministries are working on the disaggregation of funds per municipality.
“At the level of health, these sector by sector figures, municipality by municipality, are already in the hands of the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities [ANMP],” said the Secretary of State, adding that in education, the largest sector, and in social action, “joint numbers have been calculated” and are being worked out in terms of each municipality.
The Government has delivered to the ANMP, to date, 15 draft laws to transfer responsibilities in the areas of education, civil protection, fire safety, policing, health, public parking, tourism promotion, protected areas, culture, housing, parish responsibilities, reorganisation of municipal services and management and public services, said Carlos Miguel.
The Secretary of State said that four more draft laws related to animal health and food safety, gambling, communication and justice will be sent to the ANMP on Friday, and that next week the draft laws on social action, heritage and review of the Local Finance Act will be delivered.
The decentralisation working group at a joint hearing was adressed by the Secretary of State for Local Authorities, the Assistant Secretary of State for Education, Alexandra Leitão, the Secretary of State for Social Security, Cláudia Joaquim, and the Assistant Secretary of State for Health, Fernando Araújo.
LYFS/CA // CA