Inequality and political strife as Spanish families slip below the poverty line

RISING inequality in Spain is fuelling political strife and internal divisions, global economists have warned as another NGO claimed more Spanish families are slipping below the poverty line.

The World Inequality Lab, a group of economists which headed by Thomas Piketty, stated political division had grown in line with rising inequality in the wake of the last recession.

“We believe that inequality, linked to austerity, unemployment and economic scarcity in general, is one of the main causes of the political instability that the country is going through,” the authors of the report told Spanish media.

“In general, both the initial boom of Podemos, the Catalan independence situation and now the rise of Vox can be understood as different responses to a share economic malaise,” they added.

The report found that although average incomes in Spain rose above pre-2007 levels for the first time in 2017, gains were concentrated among the wealthiest. The poorest 90 per cent saw wages rise by 2 per cent while the richest 1 per cent saw increases of 24 per cent.

Save the Children has also claimed that more than two fifths single-mother families are at risk of poverty and that a quarter live in extreme hardship.

It comes as the Catholic Church’s Caritas Foundation claimed that more than one half of families with only one working member face greater risks of poverty and social exclusion.

The organisation claimed labour reforms undertaken by the previous conservative Partido Popular (PP) government increased the amount of temporary work, cutting salaries and hours.

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Written by

Joe Gerrard

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