The formation of the new Government and the distribution of portfolios leaves changes in stickers and new faces. One of the most surprising changes is that of the Ministry of Social Security and Migration Policies that will direct Elma Saiz Delgado (Pamplona, 1975), PSN policy. Saiz is a fiscal and tax expert who has made a career over the last decades in the Foral Community, but who is an unknown profile at the national level and within the pension sector. “It’s the first time I’ve heard his name,” point out historical members of the Toledo Pact. It faces at least two great challenges as the legacy of José Luis Escrivá’s legislature: the pension reform review within a year and a half under the magnifying glass of the European Commission, and the Basque challenge of transfer the economic management of Social Security to the Basque Country.
Saiz, separated and with two children, will move her life to Madrid to assume the leadership of a portfolio with enormous political and economic weight. She has a degree in Law and a Master’s Degree in Tax Consulting from the University of Navarra, and has also taught a master’s degree in Tax, Labor and Accounting Consulting at the Public University of Navarra. Before entering politics, she was managing partner of IMEL, a firm specialized in tax consulting and legal advice to companies and individuals.
His comparison with Escrivá could not be more evident: The man from Albacete arrived, in 2020, with an admirable career and a proven technical profile after experiences at the Bank of Spain, the European Central Bank, BBVA and the founding presidency of AIReF. He was the minister chosen for the portfolio’s largest reform process in a decade and the need to reach an agreement with the European Commission.
At least since 2003 she has been linked to the Socialist Party of Navarra, when she began her career as a parliamentarian. Subsequently, she has been a delegate of the Navarrese Government (2008-2012), Minister of Economy and Finance appointed by Maria Chivite in the last legislature and candidate for mayor of Pamplona this summer. She comes shielded by the president of the Foral Community of Navarra, Chivite, and by the number three of the PSOE, Santos Cerdán.
The Navarrese assumes a portfolio of enormous importance with several challenges and plans to continue with the roadmap set by Escrivá. Although it will not be a legislature with major reforms planned after the recent one addressed by the outgoing Minister Escrivá (Digital Transformation, previously dependent on Calviño in Economy), does not plan to be a legislature without work. Two big points are expected in the coming years.
The pension reform includes a clause by which the evolution of pension spending will be reviewed every three years -the first, in 2025- subtracting the new income generated by the measures, in such a way that if the disbursement exceeds 13.3% of GDP, adjustments would have to be made through new income, spending cuts or a combination of both. in consensus with social agents and the Toledo Pact. Ultimately, Brussels would impose a new rise in contributions that would put unions in the spotlight and inflame employers. Institutions like the Bank of Spain or the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (AIReF) are already advancing new adjustments in 2025.
Another great challenge will be delicate political negotiation with the PNV and the social agents for the transfer of the economic management of Social Security to the Basque Country, a historic demand of the region included in the Statute of Guernica. However, it is a complex decision to make and collides with the principle of solidarity and the ‘single fund’ of Social Security: the cost of pensions, their debt and deficit is distributed between the richest and poorest regions. Although the Minister of Finance and Public Function, María Jesús Montero, said that “it will be difficult” to carry out the transfer, it remains to be seen how far the Basque groups will tighten the rope.