A UN expert has called on Spain to extend its new minimum income scheme to more people.
Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the plan shows how countries can take advantage of the global COVID-19 pandemic to address extreme poverty and reduce inequality.
He said: “The scheme will provide much-needed relief to those in need and is a great example of how to develop an inclusive approach to addressing poverty and inequality.”
At the moment, Spain’s ‘minimum vital income’ scheme is expected to reach more than 850,000 households and benefit 1.6 million people living in extreme poverty.
The poorest households would receive between €451.5 to €1,015 per month, depending on family size.
“I encourage the Spanish government to continue to expand coverage for this scheme and lower eligibility and bureaucratic requirements,” De Schutter said.
“Public spending on social protection at this time is a crucial investment whose impacts will last for years to come.”
“It is essential that the scheme be designed to reach as many people in need as possible.”
Despite the economic recovery experienced after the 2008-11 crisis, inequality in Spain has remained well above EU averages and regional minimum income schemes have been largely inadequate.