The economic crisis did not increase only the number of poor, also transformed its physiognomy. Of the nine million Spaniards living below the poverty line (less than 60% of the average income per household), two million are low-wage workers. The autonomous communities have mechanisms to alleviate their situation, but in 2017, the last year for which data are available, only 8% received a minimum insertion income (the subsidy that guarantees income to those who do not have it). This is: 728,000 people. This is revealed by a report prepared by the Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services, which warns of the huge differences in coverage and amount between communities.
"It can not be that a community covers 76% of people with needs and in others charging a minimum income becomes a real lottery," complains Gustavo García, spokesperson for the association. The data in the report, extracted from Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, reveal extreme contrasts. Two communities, País Vasco and Navarra, lead the coverage. In the first, public aid covers three out of four people whose income is below the poverty line. In the case of Navarra, the income benefits 66.1% of those people.
The situation is very different in the rest of the regions. Only five guarantee percentages higher than 10% coverage: Aragón and Cantabria (18.8), Asturias (17.4), Madrid (11) and Castilla y León (10.7). In seven other communities it does not even reach 5% of those who need it. In the caboose are Castilla-La Mancha (2.1%) and Murcia (3.6%).
The Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services compiles these figures for eight years. According to his calculations, the number of recipients reached its highest level in 2015, when 8.7% of Spaniards with incomes below the poverty line received aid. The percentage of beneficiaries has been decreasing since then. Several factors explain this decline: the dispersion of subsidies, the excessive bureaucracy to request them and the shame that many potential beneficiaries still feel to do so.
"Minimum insertion rents are outdated tools. Twentieth century methods are used to address 21st century poverty", Says García. In his opinion, poverty has changed. You can no longer consider poor only those people who are structurally and have been excluded from society. "Labor precariousness has changed what we understand by poverty. Now it affects many workers, people completely included in our society who have to resort to this type of aid ".
García recriminates that in many regions work is not encouraged because, if the recipients get a temporary job and paralyze the rent, then they need an excessive bureaucracy to recover it. "They make social reports of all kinds. If it is humiliating to be poor, being a poor worker is more important, "he insists. However, your main complaint focuses on the differences in coverage and amount of aid. To solve this, it requires the creation of a national guarantee system that ends with the contrasts between territories. "It is a real reason of State, much more than symbols, because it guarantees minimum subsistence for people. Now every community is a world and that does indeed dissociate the country. "
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Social Policies of Madrid It indicates that the average amount charged by a recipient in the region is 470 euros, but can reach up to 900, depending on the number of family members. The aid is indefinite provided that it is proven that the requirements are met. In the Basque Country, where it is called Social Guarantee Income, the average amount is 644 euros, but it can reach 915, indicate regional government sources. In Andalusia, the minimum insertion income replaced the minimum solidarity income in 2017. The benefit is 78% of the Public Indicator of Income of Multiple Effects (IPREM), which is currently 537 euros (same amount as two years ago).
The report made by the Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services also reveals that the average amount charged in 2017 by a minimum income earner in Spain, 4,220 euros per year, barely accounted for 13.2% of the average income a household received. (31,956 euros). They consider it an "extremely low amount that has hardly changed in the last seven years". The study highlights Extremadura, where the amounts received by recipients represent 31.5% of the average income of households in the region. On the contrary, five communities have percentages below 10%. Baleares closes this particular ranking with 4.9%, which for the experts "does not allow, in any way, to guarantee survival".