The Government has already begun the transition from the story about the impregnable strength of the Spanish economic recovery, in which the Vice President of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, has insisted so much, towards another somewhat darker
a scenario of economy in crisis by the war in Ukraine, in which Spain still shows an important resistance capacity. For a few days the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has added the construction 'economic crisis' to his public speech and this Monday he has taken a step further by admitting, in an event organized by the Ministry of Inclusion and Social Security on the Minimum Vital Income, the existence of "an economic crisis at the gates of Europe."
The future of the economy seems to be tinged with clouds.
Sánchez, however, has used that reference to praise the "formidable" employment data made public this Monday by the Ministries of Labor and Inclusion and Social Security, which have shown
a drop in unemployment by 42,409 people and the incorporation of 115,607 new affiliates to the Social Security records. The president has stressed that these figures indicate that today there are already 740,000 affiliations - the Social Security data records registrations of affiliation not affiliated people as such - with an indefinite contract than before the pandemic.
It has not stopped there but has taken advantage of the circumstance to question one of the argumentative lines of the PP's economic policy, which ensures that job creation is the best possible social policy. In the opinion of the president, the management of his government shows that it is possible to create quality employment (due to the high percentage of indefinite contracts) and also develop social policies such as the Minimum Vital Income. The president has also said that the claim that job creation is the best possible social policy is nothing more than "an excuse to either create precarious employment or to justify cuts in the welfare state."
Sánchez has given the Minimum Vital Income as an example to contrast the measures put in place by the Government to combat the pandemic with those implemented to get out of the great financial crisis of a decade ago "which were seen more as a counter-reform". "Thanks to the strength of Spanish society and also to a Government that recognizes that there is no contradiction between creating decent employment and strengthening the welfare state, we are providing a response that generates trust, stability and, above all, cohesion in a time of uncertainty", stressed the President of the Government.
Sánchez has not forgotten either the political fray around the measure of the Government of the Community of Madrid to increase the income threshold to access study scholarships to 100,000 euros, which he has described as a way of violating the very meaning of public income redistribution policies and which has once again contrasted with the Spanish Government's commitment to public scholarships, whose budget has been raised, he recalled, to 2,000 million euros.
Redistributive Policy Lessons from a Nobel
The President of the Government had attended the event to gloss over the benefits of the Minimum Vital Income and to give it more weight to talk about it with the Nobel Prize in Economics Abhijit Banerjee, recognized for his studies on policies aimed at combating poverty. Sánchez described the Minimum Vital Income as the main public policy of his mandate and, in the presence of the Minister of Inclusion and Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, described its deployment as "formidable" or "simply spectacular" for having reached coverage of almost half million homes.
If the Government expected the endorsement of a Nobel Prize for its Minimum Vital Income, it cannot be said that it has obtained it. Banerjee praised the efforts of governments to try to combat poverty, but stressed that any action on the most vulnerable group in society should not be based solely on political will but should start from a diagnosis of what that segment of the population the population does and what that segment of the population needs, based on their own opinions and not diagnoses from above.
In this sense, he pointed out that the available evidence indicates that, for example, the youngest demand more aid of a larger amount to try to promote a business on their own than a monthly income to cover their needs -
as stated in the Spanish Minimum Vital Income-, or that single-parent families, again, are more grateful for support for their children's schooling than income or also the need to provide quality training measures, since it is too common, the economist has said, that they are refer to training schemes that do not provide them with any added value for their employability.