Spain must increase aid for families with children, says institute

.- After comparing the amount of aid the different European nations provide to families with children, the Institute for Family Policy (IFP) said Spain lags far behind and should urgently increase its aid in order to ensure the country’s demographic future.

“The amount of $33 per month in aid for families with incomes under $12,000 per year is an insult to Spanish families, since, in addition to being a small and insufficient amount, the vast majority of families with children, more than 90 percent, do not qualify to receive it,” said Eduardo Hertfelder, president if the IFP.

The limits on income are so restrictive that out of a population of 8.3 million children under the age of 18 in Spain, only 10 percent can actually receive the assistance.  Hertfelder pointed out that two-income families that take in the equivalent of the government-established minimum professional salary cannot qualify for the aid.

“This situation is inconsistent with the rest of Europe,” Hertfelder said, that while “the majority of countries in Europe stand out for their universal assistance per child.  Spain, together with Italy and Portugal, is the only European Union country that does not offer universal aid.”

The Institute also noted that the amount of family aid per child is “clearly insufficient and much less than the European average. This is provoking unjust discrimination against families of the rest of the EU countries.”  The amount of aid provided to families in Spain has not gone up since 2000, Hertfelder noted.

“There is no reason why there cannot be universal aid per child by the year 2008,” he stated.  “Only the lack of political will to help the family can block this demand by Spanish families,” Hertfelder said.


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