The Secretary of Finances, Ventura Garçês, during the budget ‘debate’ (the regiment allows for very little actual debate) quoted Einstein saying that the crisis is the greatest blessing since it brings progress. President Jardim has recently often stated that he only regretted not having made an even bigger debt while was still able to.
The 2011 budget estimated the region could raise 1.119 billion Euros in tax income; the final tax income only reached 667,000 Euros. The 2012 budget estimates a tax income of 792,000 Euros, but even the Secretary of Finances admits that, despite tax increases, they are likely to fall far short of this target.
The Regional Government has submitted a budget of 2.2 billion Euros, far higher than in previous years due to the 1 billion Euro loan from the Portuguese Government, which will go directly towards repaying accumulated debt. However, this sum will not reduce the Madeira debt, since it constitutes a debt transfer.
Although the Government has introduced some cutbacks, it is unclear how much of Madeira’s 6.3 billion debt, if any, will be reduced with this budget.