Spanish govt approves minimum income to fight poverty

The Spanish government has confirmed that it has approved a guaranteed minimum income aimed at dealing with extreme poverty and the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis on the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

The measure, assuring a guaranteed income of between 462 euros and 1,050 euros ($514-$1,170) a month for people at risk of poverty, will cost the country around 3,000 million euros a year and was approved at Friday’s cabinet meeting, reports Xinhua news agency.

Individuals will receive 462 euros a month and an extra 139 euros a month for each additional dependent.

The government calculates the minimum income will reach over 800,000 of Spain’s poorest households and help around 2.3 million people in the coming months.

“This is a historic day for our democracy. Today we see a major step forward in social rights,” said Pablo Iglesias, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Social Rights.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez posted on social media that the minimum income was “a policy to guarantee the income for those who are suffering the most, to combat poverty and to help the economic recovery of our country”.

“We have spent years defending the need of a guaranteed minimum income which acts as a safety net for the most vulnerable and a net which is more urgent than ever in the crisis we are going through.

“The recovery after COVID-19 won’t be fair if it fails to reach everyone. Nobody will be left behind,” wrote Sanchez.

The income will be available to anyone aged between 23-65 years of age, who has lived independently for three years, made social security payments for a year and is currently registered as looking for employment.