Spain approves targeted basic income for households at risk of poverty
Individuals will receive €462 a month with an extra €139 a month for each additional dependant
The Spanish government has approved a targeted basic income for households at risk of poverty.
Some 850,000 households and 2.3 million people will be eligible to receive the basic income in a move that is estimated will cost three billion euros per year, with the application process opening on June 15.
Individuals will receive €462 a month and an extra €139 a month for each additional dependant, up to a maximum of €1,015 per month. Single-parent families will receive a supplement of €100.
Spain's second vice president, Pablo Iglesias explained that the measure will supplement household income so that it reaches the amount of the targeted basic income. Thus, for example, a single person who already has an income of €200 either from a job or another benefit, will receive €262, bringing the total to €462.
To be eligible, applicants must be aged between 23 and 65, or over 18 with underage dependants. They must have resided in Spain for at least a year - except for victims of gender-based or sexual violence - and have maximum assets worth €16,641 net for individuals, or up to €46,146 net for larger households.
Applications will be able to be filled out online at the Spanish social security website or by sending in the necessary documents by mail. There will also be a hotline to call with questions as well as an FAQ section on the website for any possible queries, and in the near future, local councils are also expected to be able to provide assistance on the matter.
Iglesias, said it was a "historic day" for Spanish democracy, adding, "today a new social right is born."
Catalan authorities could manage from 2021
Spain's new targeted basic income is compatible with the Catalan government benefits already provided to lower-income households, such as the 'Renda garantida de ciutadania' which some 124,000 people already receive.
But for now, this new grant will not be managed by regional authorities except for in the Basque Country and Navarre, which have greater fiscal powers.
Catalonia could possibly begin to take charge of allocating the grant next year, with Spanish inclusion, social security and migration minister José Luis Escrivà explaining that the reason Catalan authorities will not yet be doing so is for practical reasons relating to the speed in which the money needs to begin to be distributed to needy households.
Regions are, however, asked actively collaborate with the central government for the purpose of making the measure a success, and Escrivà has called "shared governance" essential to the measure's "triumph."