Cáritas presented this Wednesday the “Report on Exclusion and Social Development in the Community of Madrid” of the FOESSA Foundation (Promotion of Social Studies and Applied Sociology) and among the main conclusions it warns of a 5% increase in people in poverty in the region due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The response of the regional government chaired by Isabel Díaz Ayuso has been to deny it, assuring that it is not what the political leaders see on the street.
The results of this research show that in the Community of Madrid 1.5 million people are in a situation of social exclusion, which is five percentage points more than before the pandemic (from 17% in 2018 to 22%), which is that is, 370,000 more people in social exclusion. “The increase in people in more difficult situations is especially serious, with a 25% increase in situations of severe exclusion, which now reaches 800,000 people,” warns Caritas.
The report also points to an increase in inequality among the poorest, who have seen their income reduced by 22%, a figure that contrasts with the 18% growth in the income of people with higher incomes. “The collapse of income of the quintile with the lowest income explains the increase in severe poverty,” warns the non-profit organization.
Given these data, the response of the regional government has been denial. The Minister of Education, Science and Universities and spokesman for the regional government, Enrique Ossorio, has considered the report published by Caritas “in error”. In the press conference after the Governing Council, he emphasized that the population takes to the streets and sees that Madrid is a “rich region”, with a GDP of 6.5% compared to 5.9% of the whole of Spain. “They tell him that there are three million poor people in Madrid, well… where are they?” He then launched.
Ossorio has assured that these reports must be read “very carefully” because the regional government is “to solve problems and especially to solve the problems of the people who need it most.” And immediately afterwards he added: “What happens is that sometimes you read them and then you go out on the street and say: Hey, what the report says, and I don’t see it!” In the opinion of the government spokesman “this type of report is a mistake” while he has charged against Cáritas of which he has said should be “more objective”.
The report that has been presented, together with the global report on the “Evolution of social cohesion and consequences of Covid-19 in Spain”, has been developed by 30 researchers from 10 universities and research entities. A team of professional pollsters has knocked on more than 90,000 doors at the state level and 7,000 homes in Madrid, collecting information from almost 19,000 people in the State, and 1,600 people in Madrid, Caritas said in a statement.