The plenary session of the Congress has approved on Tuesday a proposal not of law to urge the Government to impel a pact of State by the childhood that grants "a system of sufficient protection to guarantee the exercise of the rights of all the boys and girls". The text, which was signed by all groups of the House, has been approved by 334 votes in favor and four against. The initiative, which was promoted by the Children's Platform, contemplates a Progressive increase in child benefit charge up to 1,200 euros per year in 2022 for children in poverty. This aid must be conditional on an income limit based on the official poverty thresholds and will be granted through the current non-contributory benefit for children in charge of Social Security.
The text asks to identify the items destined for children in the Budgets and to assume a commitment of progressive increase of the investment until reaching the European average. To that end, in addition to the implementation of direct financial assistance for children living in poverty, it includes educational measures, as the progressive increase of the supply of public places of early childhood education. Through cooperation between the State and the autonomous communities, the groups want to finance the creation of 70,000 public places in children's schools by 2022, which should be free for families with fewer resources. In this way, the proposal indicates, the rate of schooling in early childhood education would be at 40%.
In addition, it is proposed to expand the investment in scholarships and study grants to reach the European average of 0.44% of GDP in 2022, especially in the compulsory and post-compulsory non-university stages. "In addition, the award criteria will be revised so that students below the poverty line are entitled to the maximum amounts and that these are sufficient to cover the educational costs," the document states.
The groups also demand that resources be allocated to strengthen the protection of children and adolescents to ensure the correct application of the changes introduced by the Law on Modification of the Child and Adolescent Protection System.
From the PSOE, his spokesman on Children, Sonia Ferrer, recalled the "delicate" situation of children and adolescents during the crisis and after it. The deputy has defended the creation of a pact saying that it is necessary to ensure that future governments guarantee "minimal" commitments in this regard. This initiative has also been defended by the representative of Unidos Podemos and president of the Commission for Children and Adolescents in Congress, the deputy of En Comú Mar García Puig. In his speech he affirmed that this agreement will be "a first step towards equality of childhood welfare" in Spain.
García Puig has upset some of the deputies who used "electoral" speeches during the debate and has refused to "reproach" other parties when talking about policies for minors and an agreement. The deputy of the confederal group has referred, among other parliamentarians, to the spokesperson for Citizens on Children, Virginia Millán, who preceded her in her speech. Millán has dedicated much of his speech to reproach the PSOE for his desire to "hold on" to power while being "unable to comply with what he had been demanding from the opposition."
The PP has also reproached the Socialists. Its spokesman in the debate, Silvia Heredia, has criticized that the PSOE "asked 2.500 million euros for the provision for dependent child" when he was in the opposition and now present this initiative, which involves an investment of 180 million. Heredia has also warned the party that supports the Government of the need for patience at the time of implementing this pact and reminded him that it requires the creation of a subcommittee, listening to experts and autonomous communities, among others.
PNV spokesman in this debate, Íñigo Barandiaran, has shown his support for this initiative that his training also subscribes, but has been critical of the wording of the text in which, as explained, is called to participate in the development of the agreement with civil society organizations and international organizations, among others, while the autonomous communities are ultimately reclaimed when they are "those that have always had the competition" in this matter and "have had greater intervention".
The representative of ERC Joan Olòriz has also been critical, although in his case because, in his opinion, there has been much talk about childhood between the walls of Congress, but "very little has been done". Finally, from Forum Asturias, its spokesperson Isidro Martinez Oblanca has joined this request for a pact and has stressed the importance of reaching agreements for children that allow sufficient protection of the rights of minors through specific commitments in terms of budgets.