Average council debt burden per person in Portugal €624 in 2020
The total debt burden per citizen/municipality in Portugal stood at €624 or 55.2% of total income in 2020 according to an index.
20 Portuguese municipal councils exceeded the limit of total debt as defined by the Local Authorities Financial Regime (RFALEI) with Fornos de Algodres (near Guarda in the Serra da Estrela region) being in the worst situation (€6,258 per inhabitant).
Citizens living in the municipality of Marinha Grande had the lowest amount of debt per inhabitant (€61).
These figures are according to the Portuguese Municipal Councils Financial Yearbook 2020 which was presented today (Monday 13 December).
The calculations for 2020 show that there are 20 municipal councils that still exceed the total debt allowance limit which are, in descending order: Fornos de Algodres, Vila Franca do Campo, Cartaxo, Vila Real de Santo António, Nordeste, Nazaré, Fundão, Portimão, Vila Nova de Poiares, Alfândega da Fé, Alandroal, Belmonte, Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Paços de Ferreira, Seia, Tabuaço, Celorico da Beira, Tarouca and Évora.
Despite these 20 municipal councils breaking RFALEI rules which state that a council debts must not exceed 1.5 times the average net current revenue for the previous three years, the overall debt for municipal councils in Portugal has fallen successively since 2013, which shows a progressive improvement in their financial situation.
The total debt index in 2020 stood at 55.2%, with 20 councils exceeding the debt limit but a relative recovery to previous years since 2013, particularly in comparison to 2019 when the debt was 59.4%, with 25 municipal councils debt, and in 2013 when the figure stood at 122.6%, with 87 municipalities in the red.
Overall, total municipal council debt fell €138 million in 2020 despite the pandemic.
The report shows that the two councils that had the least debt were both in the Greater Lisbon Urban District: Oeiras (pictured) and Sintra.