The increase in the interprofessional minimum wage and the good employment data in recent years have not served to lift the percentage of the Spanish population that suffers from poverty out of poverty, according to an analysis by the Foessa Foundation and Cáritas. Although they consider that the measures are positive, are insufficient in the face of the increasing cost of living, especially with regard to housing and basic supplies. Thus, 16.8% of families remain below the severe poverty threshold once these expenses are paid and the percentage of households in severe material poverty reaches 8.1% of the population (3.8 million people). .
At the presentation of the report, Natalia Peirogeneral secretary of Cáritas Española, Daniel Rodrigueza member of the Foessa Foundation study team, highlighted how this difference is the result of a simple equation, but one that illustrates the problem and defines living conditions: income minus expenses.
After the health crisis, “challenges such as the conflict in Ukraine, the increase in the costs of energy supplies or the inflationary crisis persist in testing the ability of households to meet essential expensess like food and housing,” Peiro explained.
For his part, Rodríguez influenced this imbalance in the balance of the family economy. “One of the elements we want to put on the table is that, while it is necessary to address the income-expenditure equation simultaneously, probably the most pronounced deficit is currently in the sphere of expenses,” he noted. “The possible improvement in income is completely offset because the other side always weighs more,” summarized Rodríguez, who during the event also lamented that “public policies have not been up to par“.
The report – also the event at which it was presented – contextualizes the good economic data on numerous occasions. The study indicates that between 2008 and 2021 income has grown by 12% and the average income per Consumption Unit has gone from 16,100 euros per year to 18,100. Meanwhile, in recent months family expenses have increased by 30%.