More changes to the Minimum Living Income (MVI) are coming. Minister José Luis Escrivá recognized this Thursday that, with the current design of the new state minimum income, he will not reach the goal set of benefiting 850,000 families in poverty. “Clearly we are not going to get anywhere near that figure,” replied the head of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration in an interview on TVE’s channel 24H. At the moment 160,000 households have been recognized and, although Social Security expects this figure to increase in the coming weeks, the set goal is already seen as unattainable. Therefore, the minister has advanced that changes will be approved so that the benefit reaches more households in poverty.
Dismantling child benefit for poor families leaves vulnerable children without support
The minimum vital income was approved at the end of May with the goal of reaching 850,000 households in acute poverty. Since then, the state minimum income against poverty has received much criticism, even from the Vice Presidency of Social Rights led by Pablo Iglesias, for delays in processing and for not reaching families in need.
“The number of households that is receiving it is less than we expected,” José Luis Escrivá acknowledged this morning, highlighting that his team is carrying out an evaluation, which he hopes will be ready in January. “We have to understand well why and, when we know, we can go to the norm and be able to adjust it,” said the minister, who stressed the importance of evaluating public policies.
Pending this analysis, Minister Escrivá considers that the limited scope is explained rather by the high number of denials of aid and by the people who are not being reached (who have not requested the minimum vital income), that due to the processing of the provision itself, which it considers a “milestone in administrative management”.
José Luis Escrivá recalled that Social Security has received around 1.2 million applications for the minimum vital income, of which it has processed “two thirds”, an amount that stands out as very high given the complexity of processing the minimum income , which usually takes months of management in several Autonomous Communities. In other words, of some 800,000 requests processed, aid has only been recognized for 160,000 households.
Study application rejections
The minister stressed that it is important to analyze the denials of aid. On the one hand, the established access limits for income and assets, for which a large part of the applications are being rejected, and also looming changes in the criteria established for “living units”, for which they are also staying out enough applicants. “And we have to look at other reasons,” said Escrivá, for which he highlighted the important role that NGOs and social groups that are helping to process aid can play.
Since the approval of the IMV, the Government has already approved changes or clarifications in the benefit, for example facilitating the requirements of the register, specifying what is understood by a common-law partner or a single-parent cohabitation unit and in the extension of retroactive collection, which it was extended to all requests until the end of the year, among others. As stated by the minister, to these will be added more modifications of the IMV once the Executive evaluates the application of the measure so far.
In recent weeks, NGOs such as Save the Children and Unicef are denouncing the dismantling of the benefit for dependent children for vulnerable families in their integration into the Minimum Living Income. The organizations warn that the scheme proposed by the Government means leaving families with children in poverty without aid: families with incomes below the poverty line who will not have access to the IMV or to this other aid against child poverty.