Dependents in the Balearic Islands. | Daniel Espinosa


15 years after Congress approved the Dependency Law, the Balearic Government is out of pocket to the tune of 500 million euros, according to the Department of Social Affairs.

The Balearic Islands had to pay up after José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's Government approved a law forcing Communities to look after dependents but didn’t provide the financing for it.

The economic hole has been growing steadily since 2011, when residents started asking for more aid in general, but Mariano Rajoy’s Government approved cuts as a result of the economic crisis.

According to the most recent data from 2019, the Government and Councils allocated a total of 163 million euros to the unit. 142 million of that was to meet the needs of dependents and the other 21 million euros came from the Central Government.

In 2018, global spending was 146 million euros, of which the Government and Councils paid 123 million and the other 23 million came from the Central Government.

That means Madrid financed just 16%; meanwhile the Balearic Government still had to shell out money for all the infrastructure investments demanded by law.

Social Affairs Minister Fina Santiago says it costs the Government 2,000 euros to Manage Centres for dependents and that Madrid contributes around 500 euros. But there’s also the cost of direct aid for around 3,000 dependents who live with their relatives and the cost of day centres.


The Department of Social Affairs expects a slight financial improvement this year because the Government has promised to pay the fixed cost, based on a series of indicators, such as population, the number of people over 65, which means the Balearic Islands will receive around 7 million euros more per year.

Minister Santiago says the cost of dependency should be shared 50-50 between the Balearic Government and Madrid, not 87% to 13% as it’s been split since the law came into force, which has left the Balearic Islands with an annual deficit of between 40 and 60 million euros since 2011.

Waiting List

2,662 dependents were on the waiting list in the Balearic Islands in October 2020, down 1,318 year-on year.

The Communities with the longest waiting lists are Andalusia, Catalonia and La Rioja and 22,760 of 25,422 with dependency rights received help in October 2020.