Income Support in the Basque Country, as we know it today, has a history of more than 25 years since its inception as “Family Minimum Income Support” in 1989, as part of a plan that was aimed at combating poverty.
Besides being the first Autonomous Community to implement this income guarantee measure, the Basque Country now has an Income Support system with one of the highest rates of coverage at state level and in line with European trends, consisting of economic benefits rights (Income Support –RGI- and Housing Benefit –PCV-) and financial assistance for the eligible, including Social Emergency Aid (AES).
In 2014, a total of 65,367 people received the RGI (Income Support) in the Basque Country and more than 28,000 people complemented it with the PCV (Housing Benefit). In 2015, the budget for Income Support amounts to about 380 million euros, with an additional 82 million for Housing Benefit.
The recent crisis and the consequent impoverishment of a large part of the population have increased the demand for access to such services, which also face budgetary constraints, and a debate has been reopened about the efficacy and real impact of this system of social protection, the profile of the beneficiaries and fraud relating to it.
This report aims to conduct a review of the history of Income Support in the Basque Country, from its emergence as Family Minimum Income Support, its evolution towards the Minimum Insertion Income and the later Basic Income, right through to the current Income Support within the Income Support System in the Basque Country, looking at the following aspects:
The foundations and principles underlying the system of minimum income in the Basque Country.
The current idea of the RGI in terms of the characteristics of the benefit, the profile of the beneficiaries at the moment or the debate on fraud and improper charges or payments.
The income support system in the Basque Country, compared to the state and European context. Recommendations and trends at European level.
The contribution of the RGI to social cohesion, in terms of its impact on poverty, moving people out of real poverty and/or bringing them close to covering basic needs, and its impact as a tool for social and work inclusion for the people receiving it, where access to work is a key instrument for social insertion.
Proposals and recommendations for improving the Income Support System in the Basque Country.
Date: 2015 May