The inhabitants of Galapagar (Madrid), Caravaca de la Cruz (Murcia) and Torrevieja (Alicante) are the poorest in Spain in social investment, whose municipalities allocate little more than 20 euros to satisfy the basic needs of their neighbors in matters such as dependency, housing, family and childhood or social exclusion. The social investment of their local governments, like that of 43 other Spanish municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants, is classified as “poor” or in the analysis of the budget cleared by the Ministry of Finance carried out by the Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services for the fourth consecutive year.
This is the map of social services in Spain: 4 million citizens suffer from poor municipal policies
The number of municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants considered “poor” in their investment in social services grew in 2019 to 45, seven more than in the previous year. Five capitals fall into this category: Toledo, Guadalajara, Badajoz, Cáceres and Pontevedra. All of them invest less than 45 euros per inhabitant and year to social services, less than 60% of the median expenditure of the group of cities analyzed (76 euros).
In contrast, 34 municipalities reached the level of excellence in this area. The seven capitals included are Barcelona, Bilbao, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Madrid, Seville, Zaragoza, Malaga, Jaén and A Coruña. The analysis shows an improvement over the previous year in this social investment: six more excellent municipalities and fifteen less precarious, although seven more are added to the list of poor. It highlights that the investment effort of the municipalities also includes the transfers they receive from the autonomous communities, “for which, to a large extent, they must also feel responsible for the results obtained by the municipalities of their territory.”
The study is prepared with data from 384 town councils with more than 20,000 inhabitants (of the 421 in Spain) whose global social investment amounted to 3,157 million, 10% more than in the previous year.
Excellence in social spending
The community with the highest number of “excellent” municipalities in terms of social spending is Andalusia, with 14 municipalities, followed by Catalonia with 7, the Basque Country with 3 and Aragon with 2; Asturias, Cantabria, Extremadura, Murcia, Navarra and La Rioja do not have a municipality that meets these criteria of excellence, reports EFE.
To obtain this label it is necessary to have an accredited expense in “Social Services and Social Promotion” higher than 100 euros inhabitant / year, not to have reduced the budget in 2020 with respect to the settlement of 2019, that said expense represents at least 10% of the total non-financial budget of the city council and that can be compared in the Transparency Portal of the municipal website.
Heads the list of social investment Alcalá la Real (Jaén), with 237 euros per inhabitant per year; followed by Barcelona and Esparraguera (Barcelona), with 196 euros.
Spending less than 45 euros per person: the Community of Madrid in the lead
On the other hand, the poorest in social investment in Spain are Galapagar (Madrid) -20.5 euros-, Caravaca de la Cruz (Murcia) -21.7- and Torrevieja (Alicante) -24.1-. In this list, three capitals are included due to the precariousness of their services and are labeled as poor: Toledo -43.7 euros-, Guadalajara -44.1- and Badajoz -44.8-.
For the “poor” classification, it is taken into account that social spending is less than 45 euros, that is, below 60% of the average expenditure per inhabitant / year.
Again, this year the Community of Madrid is the one that contributes a greater number of municipalities poor in social services, with 15 municipalities (two more than the previous year) and more than a third of the total in the country. They are followed by the Valencian Community, with 10 (four more than the previous year); Andalusia with 4 (one less than the previous year); Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha with 3; Balearic and Canary Islands with 2 each; Cantabria, Catalonia and Galicia with one.
Almost two out of three poor municipalities in 2019 were also poor in 2018 (64.4%), a recidivism that is “an unfortunate example of the persistence of corporations in keeping the social services of their populations in this category and consequently their neighbors deprived of social rights that legitimately correspond to them “, laments the president of the association, José Manuel Ramírez.
Almost twenty town councils in precarious
In addition, there are 19 municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants with an expenditure between 45 and 50 euros per inhabitant per year, that is, they are not “poor” but almost. This classification affects just over a million citizens “who suffer from the insensitivity of their municipal councilors,” says the head of the organization.
On a positive note, there has been a reduction in the last two years in the municipalities in this section, since in 2019 it affected 4 million people and the previous one to 6.7 million. But 60% of the precarious municipalities in 2018 repeat again.
On the list of precarious municipalities, among others, Cáceres -46 euros-, Campello (Alicante) -46.1-, Sant Josep de Sa Talaia (Ibiza) -46.3-, Pontevedra -46- and Altea (Alicante) -46.3-.