The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a formidable challenge to public finances. Governments have responded to the shock of the pandemic with measures that boost public deficits, such as transfers to businesses and households, unemployment benefits, tax cuts and tax deferrals. In addition, tax revenues have declined due to the contraction of economic activity. In Spain, due to increased public spending, reduced revenue collection, and the contraction of GDP itself, the ratio of government debt to GDP exceeded 120% by the end of 2021, while at the end of 2019 this ratio stood at 95.5%.
By the time this article was finalised, 3.8 million people had been infected by the Covid-19 virus in Spain and the pandemic had claimed 80.6 thousands lives according to government statistics (more than 100 thousands according to other estimates by INE and Carlos III Institute).