The Government has approved this Friday the first national strategy against poverty and social exclusion in Spain. The document covers the period between 2019 and 2023 and outlines the path to follow to combat inequality on all fronts, from its manifestation in childhood to energy vulnerability. The text proposes 85 lines of action such as developing a minimum income system for households, promoting the universalization of education from zero to three years in vulnerable families or promoting the social bonus and the electric bond.
The proximity of the elections, however, will make it impossible to implement it until next year. The strategy obliges to develop an annual plan in which specific measures and objectives are set, as well as a budgetary allocation to put them into practice. Therefore, for the moment it is impossible to know the financing that will be awarded to the plan. Until a new government is formed, you can not start working on the project by 2020.
The entities of the third sector claimed the National Strategy for the Prevention and Fight against Poverty and Social Exclusion for a decade. This Friday, Carlos Susías, president of the European Network of Fight against Poverty in Spain (EAPN-Spain), has celebrated the approval of the document because Spain joins the group of European states that already work in this line. Susías has demanded speed to the Government that results from the elections of April 28 and a "sufficient economic endowment" that allows to put in practice the strategy.
The document draws an overview of inequalities in Spain, where one in five people (21.6% of the population) is at risk of poverty. This means living in households with incomes lower than 60% of the median income of the country. For a family of two adults and a child under 14 years, for example, would be charged less than 15,340 euros per year. It also refers to especially vulnerable sectors such as single-parent families – with only one parent who is mostly a woman-, children or young people.
The plan is based on the objectives of the European 2020 Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, highlighted by the Ministry of Health, and in collaboration with different government ministries, as well as the High Commissioner for the Fight against Poverty Childhood and the State NGO Council, which groups the main social entities of the country. "The European Commission may require Spain to comply with the strategy and rebuke the government if it does not, " exposes Susías, who claims forcefulness on the part of the European authorities at the time of demanding the fulfillment of the objectives in the field of social policies.
One of the mechanisms to combat poverty is the creation of a minimum income system that allows "living with dignity and favoring the increase of net income available in homes," according to the ministry in a note. The minister, Maria Luisa Carcedo, stressed on Friday that the first step to deploy this measure is the increase in child allowance, which the Government has recently approved by decree and contemplates the increase in income received by families with children in poverty – from 291 euros a year to 341, a figure that rises to 588 euros for those who suffer severe poverty– At the end of 2018, there were 593,000 households in Spain without income recipients. In 138,000 of them lived children, according to the Government's strategy.
The second goal of the plan refers to social investment in people and sets two objectives: equitable and inclusive education and priority attention in training and employment to vulnerable groups. Among them, that scholarship programs be expanded and early schooling (from zero to three years) be strengthened, especially targeting the most disadvantaged groups.
The third goal is to consolidate a system of sanitary, educational and social public services, universal and of quality, that accompany and protect people throughout their life cycle and deepen in combating inequalities. At this point stands out, for example, the shielding of the universality of the coverage of the National Health System. It also sets as an objective that citizens can afford a home without the impossibility of satisfying their most basic needs.
In the fourth goal, the organization of the system and the coordination of services, policies and services are pursued. The proposed lines of action include support for the third sector in its attention and support to the most vulnerable groups. It also refers to territorial coordination and cooperation.