For some it can mean hunting in rubbish containers.

26-08-2012Archive

The annual report into poverty put together by the network for the fight against poverty and social exclusion (EAPN) shows that in 2016 there were 211,497 people in the Balearics who were living in poverty or who were at risk of poverty and social exclusion. This equated to 19.1% of the population. There was, however, a decrease of more than seven per cent compared with 2015.

Some 50,000 people were surviving on less than 342 euros per month, while 41,000 were in a condition referred to as severe material deprivation. This means that they find it impossible to obtain goods/services considered to be basic in a normal society. In all, 53% of the population had difficulties making it through to the end of the month.

A worrying aspect was that more than 21,000 pensioners were suffering from severe poverty, while almost 98,000 old people had incomes that bordered on a poverty scale.

The report contrasts with the fact that in 2016 the Balearics enjoyed greater economic growth than any other region of Spain. A conclusion drawn is that GDP and poverty "do not go hand in hand".

It was also noted that there were around 58,000 people working in a "low intensity" fashion, meaning that their wages were no guarantee of enabling them to escape the risk of poverty. A solution to this lies with putting an end to the precarious and temporary nature of some employment and with eradicating lousy job contracts. The regional government, as has been well highlighted, would agree, but a general raising of the quality of employment is easier said than done when the economy is as geared as it is towards seasonal and low-paid work.

In Spain as a whole, the report says that there are around 13 million people who are at a risk of poverty or who are living in poverty - some 28% of the population. The Balearics can take some consolation from having a percentage lower than the national figure.

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