Autonomous spending on essential public services falls for the first time in six years, with Catalonia leading the collapse

Autonomous spending on essential public services falls for the first time in six years, with Catalonia leading the collapse

Catalonia and Madrid are at the bottom of social spending per inhabitant with an investment more than 10% lower than the average

Autonomous spending on essential public services falls for the first time in six years, with Catalonia leading the collapse

Regional spending on essential public services (health, education and social services) fell 0.1% in 2019 compared to 2018 spending, going from 116,857.3 to 116,850.5, thus breaking the upward trend that had been taking place since year 2014, according to a report by the State Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services , which also reveals that the communities that have maintained a greater cut in percentage terms since 2009, are Catalonia (19.6%) and Castilla-La Stain (15.4%).

“The absence of General State Budgets has weighed down the tendency to recover spending on social policies, putting it in serious danger,” the association warns.

As he explains, the cuts made in social policies starting in 2010 and which were “especially drastic” in 2013, led to the lowest level of regional spending on essential services being recorded that year, with less than 100,000 million euros. . From 2014 to 2018 there had been increases, a trend that was broken in 2019.

In addition, the association warns that the recovery of spending on social policies is still “in deficit” since, after 10 budgetary years, spending on social policies in 2019 (116,850.5 million) is still below that of 2009 (116,851.7 millions).

Risk for the minimum vital income

In any case, from 2009 to 2019, investment in social services has increased by 2,132.6 million euros, an increase of 70% that is now “in a clear risk after the approval of the minimum vital income”, according to the association's alert.

“After the approval of the IMV, the autonomous communities could fall into the temptation to dedicate the 1,500 million euros that they currently invest in their own systems to policies other than those related to social inclusion and social services,” he says.

Within essential public services, the association highlights that only spending on social services has recovered the level prior to the cuts, which is attributed to two reasons: “care for dependency, which was fully deployed in 2009 and the necessary attention to hundreds of thousands of people and families especially hit by the crisis. “

However, the association specifies that this increase in care has been “insufficient” if we look at the data on the increase in poverty and the 266,000 dependent people on the waiting list for care and the 160,000 pending assessment.

Per capita social spending is reduced

Regarding social spending per inhabitant, the report reveals that it was 2,498.5 euros in 2019, 36.8 euros lower than in 2009 and 11.75 euros lower than in 2018. For its part, the percentage of the budget allocated to protection social, which in 2009 was 66.9%, in 2019 it was 6.3 points lower (60.6%) and 1.2 points lower than in 2018.

“This shows that spending on social protection policies managed by the autonomies has not recovered or has stagnated”, underlines the State Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services .

The “continuous” increase in the amount of the budget that is destined to pay the debt also burdens the autonomous communities. This debt, according to the association, would currently amount to about 300,000 million euros, approaching 6,500 euros per inhabitant.

The Valencian Community, where it increases the most

By autonomous communities, the report indicates that there are twelve of them that have managed to exceed in 2019 the social spending per inhabitant that they had in 2009, being the Valencian Community the one that in absolute terms has achieved a greater increase in its investment in social policies (1,656 million euros), and the Balearic Islands , which obtained the highest percentage increase (24.8%).

For their part, the Autonomous Communities that maintain a greater cut in percentage terms in these 10 years, despite the recovery, are Catalonia (19.6%) and Castilla La Mancha (15.4%).

Inter-territorial differences are also observed in per capita social spending. Thus, both Navarra and the Basque Country exceed 3,300 euros per year, while, in the Common Regime communities, this figure ranges between 2,200 euros and 3,000 euros, highlighting Extremadura (3,039.9 euros per inhabitant), Asturias ( 2,948.9 euros) and Cantabria (2,908.3 euros).

The communities of Catalonia (2,199.8 euros) and Madrid (2,222.6 euros) are at the bottom of social spending per inhabitant with an investment more than 10% lower than the average for Spain.

All the autonomous communities except Navarra (+ 7.5%) and Asturias (+ 4.3%) have reduced the percentage of the budget they allocate to Social Policies and, in addition, five of them (Madrid, Aragón, Canarias, Castilla-La Mancha and Catalonia) have also decreased investment per inhabitant.

The report highlights the “significant” increase of more than 300 euros per inhabitant in investment in social policies in Navarra, Valencia and Asturias. At the other extreme are Castilla-La Mancha with a decline of 415.4 euros and Catalonia with a decrease of 588.3 euros per inhabitant.

Precariousness before the Covid

In addition, given the health and social crisis caused by Covid-19 , the association warns that essential public services are in a “precarious” situation.

“With these essential public services weakened, we have had to face this social and health crisis. The question would be how we would have approached the Covid-19 crisis with regional budgets with strong essential services, in which investment would have been higher,” he underlines .

For this reason, it calls for the “budgetary shielding” of health, education and social services and that “urgent formulas” be put in place that allow the autonomous communities to provide these services.

“In a political scenario as serious as the current one; with such extreme positions (which seem to have come to stay), the well-being of the people cannot end up being held hostage to partisan strategies and the lack of political stature”, ditch the association.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *