By Matthew Roscoe •
Published: 25 Jan 2021 • 11:02
CREDIT: Pablo Tosco / Oxfam Intermón
OXFAM Warns Pandemic Will Lead Spain to Unprecedented Poverty Levels
The NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) Oxfam Intermón warned that the impact of Covid-19 in Spain could leave a million more people below the poverty line, reaching 10.9 million, as the effect of the pandemic leads the country to “unprecedented levels.”
A recent report underlines that the crisis generated by the disease has meant that people in severe poverty (live with less than equivalent to 16 euros a day) could reach 5.1 million in Spain.
The number represents an increase in the percentage of those who live below that threshold: it has gone from 9.2 per cent before the coronavirus to 10.86 per cent, while the relative poverty rate (estimated at 24 euros per day) would increase from 20.7 to 22.9 per cent.
According to the NGO, the poorest people in Spain have lost, proportionally, up to seven times more income than the richest.
“The data show how the pandemic has hit the most vulnerable people,” says Oxfam director Franc Cortada, who believes that without an adequate response, there is a serious risk that the exit from the crisis “will deepen and perpetuate the inequalities in Spain “so that the poorest become poorer while the richest recover steadily.”
To avoid this inequality in Spain, Oxfam proposes alternative employment policies to replace the ERTE and instead expand the tax reform (IMV) that collects more progressively and measures that regulate the temporality, partiality, subcontracting or false self-employed workers and that protect the most vulnerable groups, such as domestic workers and migrants.
Globally, the report reveals that the pandemic “has the potential” to increase economic inequality in practically all countries at the same time, “a situation without precedent” since this data began to be recorded more than a century ago.
And it concludes that the world’s 1,000 largest fortunes have already recovered, while the poorest people will take a decade to do so.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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