Poverty reaches record levels in Spain

NEARLY 13 million people in Spain live in poverty or are at risk of social exclusion, finds a new report, with a staggering 2.8 million somehow surviving on less than €339 per month.

Figures released yesterday (February 10) by the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) classed 12.9 million people in the country as poor or at risk. Of them, the 2.8 million Spanish citizens with incomes lower than €339 per month are classed as living in ‘severe poverty’.

The study analysed families’ incomes, spending power and the employment level in European countries.

More than a quarter, 27.3 per cent, of the Spanish population was registered as poor or at risk of social exclusion, a new record for the country. More than a million citizens became poor during the period since the data was last collated in 2007, according to the report.

One of the most striking rises is in the number of people who cannot pay their monthly bills on time.

In 2007, only 6.6 per cent of Spanish people were not able to meet monthly payments, a figure that rose to 11 per cent in 2013. This translates into one in 10 Spanish citizens who could not pay their light, gas, rent or mortgage bills on time because they did not have enough money.

The report also highlights the ‘working poor’, with 11.7 per cent of workers in 2013 still living at risk of social exclusion, which the report says, “goes to show that having a job does not protect from poverty.”

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