The document that the Government has sent to the autonomous communities so that they prepare the meeting that they will hold this week proposes the same money for the dependents in 2019 that the Executive of Mariano Rajoy had planned to allocate before the censorship motion that led Pedro Sánchez to power. According to the text, to which EL PAÍS has had access, the table sent by the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Services only differs by two cents with respect to that projected by the previous team. While the PP planned to give 200.13 euros per month for each large dependent (the most serious cases), the PSOE proposes to allocate 200.11. The rest of the items, for severe and moderate dependents, are exactly the same.
The document sent to the autonomous communities is a draft of a royal decree whose annex sets the amounts that will be assigned to each dependent according to their severity. They are the same as the PP government intended to apply next year, with the only difference of the two cents already mentioned. The estimated increase in this expense is around 5%, which would be about 70 million euros more than the previous year.
The text was sent to the heads of the autonomous communities to prepare the Delegate Committee of the Territorial Council, scheduled for Tuesday, where members of the Executive and regional governments meet. The agenda of the meeting shows that one of the points that will be addressed is the financing of the so-called minimum level of guaranteed protection, that is, the resources that the General State Administration sends to the communities for direct subsidies to the dependents, which they are distributed equally among users as the service or service is provided.
The draft royal decree, dated last October, is almost the same as the one proposed last April by the Government of Mariano Rajoy in an informal meeting of the general directors of the Unit. The tables proposed for this minimum level are included in the annex of both documents. They are practically traced. Thus, while the PP proposed increasing the item for the most serious dependents by 10 euros per month (from the current 190.13 to 200.13), the PSOE proposes an increase of 9.98 euros (from 190.13 to 200, eleven). The rise for severe dependents (from 84.49 to 90.15) and for moderates (from 47.38 to 49.18) is the same.
This increase to the minimum level, about 70 million euros, is far from the rise of 132 million for this item that was included in the pact of General State Budgets reached between the PSOE and Podemos. The minimum level is the truly finalist, since it is intended directly for users. But the agreement also contemplated recovering another means of financing, the so-called agreed level, which was abolished during the crisis, with the PP cuts. For this concept 383 million were planned, which are also distributed among the autonomous communities, but do not necessarily have to reach the dependents, since they can also be allocated to other resources, such as personnel.
In Spain, more than 1.2 million people have some degree of recognized dependence. Of these, some 270,000 are on the waiting list to receive the benefit to which they are entitled. Experts in the sector estimate that it is possible that by 2019 some 30,000 will die without having received the aid that corresponds to them.
In December 2016, when the tenth anniversary of the Dependency Law was fulfilled, all the parliamentary groups, with the exception of the PP, signed a pact in Congress that promised to recover the cuts in the matter since 2012. The project The Royal Decree managed by the Government is far from equaling the budget item destined for the minimum level at that time, when there were more levels for each degree of dependency (during the cuts, they were reduced to the three current categories). Before the cuts, the General State Administration allocated 266.57 euros per month to the most serious dependents, compared to 200.11 in the draft sent by the ministry.
Although the Executive and the autonomous communities are obliged to co-finance the dependency system, last year the regional governments contributed 6.241 million euros, 83.7% of the public investment certified, compared to the 1,218 million consigned by the General State Administration, of which 44 were not spent, according to the data sent by the Ministry of Health to the State Observatory for the Dependency of the State Association of Directors and Managers in Social Services. Since 2011, the Government has been decreasing its contribution percentage, going from 24.1% at that time to 16.3% in 2017.