Inequality getting worse in Spain, warns report

27th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

27 November 2003, MADRID - Inequality is getting worse in Spain because of a significant fall in the money spent by government on social services, a report warned Thursday.

27 November 2003

MADRID - Inequality is getting worse in Spain because of a significant fall in the money spent by government on social services, a report warned Thursday.

The report, called Social Policies and the Welfare State, was produced by the respected independent economic research institute, the Home Foundation of Employees.

Among the authors of the report was Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, leader of the opposition PSOE social democratic party.

The report claims the level of spending on social services in Spain has decreased from 21 percent to 19.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product between 1996 and 2001.

Juan Antonio Garde, editor of the report, said after Ireland, Spain had the lowest level of spending on social services in the European Union but faced difficult economic problems.

He said to reduce inqequalities in Spain, a cohesive public policy needs to be developed with increased resources.

Zapatero, who wrote a report entitled "The welfare state and the socialism of the citizen", said the different levels of central and regional govervment prevented formation of public policy on social services spending.

Other subjects discussed in the report include social spending, the welfare state, the education system and the ageing population.

In conclusion, the report said that considering the labour market and the limited access to housing for many people, the situation was "certainly worrying" for the youngest and most disadvantaged members of society.

Faced with this outlook, the reports says, a revised welfare model should be established.

A report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development predicted earlier this week that the Spanish economy is expected to expand by 2.3 percent by the end of this year.

But unemployment in Spain still stands at around 11 per cent. The average income is EUR 25,000.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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