Friday, January 21

The map of social services: half of the municipalities with low investment are in the Community of Madrid

The inhabitants of Alcalá la Real (Jaén) or Barcelona live in municipalities whose investment in social services per inhabitant exceeds 200 euros, but those of Mejorada del Campo or Galapagar, in the Community of Madrid, do not reach 30 euros. It is part of the X-ray that, for the fifth consecutive year, has been made by the Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services, which has classified municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants based on their spending on social policies after analyzing the budget settled by the 2020 Ministry of Finance.

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The association uses different criteria to classify each municipality as ‘excellent’, ‘poor’, ‘unsupportive’ or ‘sensitive’. Alcalá la Real or Barcelona are two of the 37 that reach the first level; there are three more than the previous year and 9.8 million people live there. But, even so, they are a minority and constitute 10.2% of the 369 consistories for which there is data. The conditions that they fulfill are the following: the accredited spending on social services and social promotion is greater than 100 euros per inhabitant and year; this expense has not been reduced compared to the previous year for the time it represents. at least. 10% of the total non-financial budget and a final criterion of transparency, that is, that the breakdown is accessible.

On the other side of the table are municipalities considered ‘poor’, whose public social investment is considered deficient. They are those who spent less than 60% of the median total expenditure of the municipalities in 2020, that is, less than 50.6 euros per inhabitant. There are still 39 municipalities that are in this category, two more than those considered ‘excellent’, but 2020 has left a positive data in this regard: there are seven less than the previous year, which represents “a commendable reduction in the list” , according to the Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services.

These 39 municipalities served more than 2.5 million inhabitants in the midst of the social crisis derived from the COVID19 pandemic with an average investment of just 42.80 euros per inhabitant. And two out of three already appeared in this category in 2019, that is, they are “repeat offenders”, laments the organization. The Community of Madrid repeats as the territory that contributes the most municipalities to this list, with 19 municipalities, four more than in 2019 and almost half, 47.3%, of those declared ‘poor’. You have to wait for fifth place to enter a municipality that is not Madrid: Plasencia, in Cáceres.

Madrid is followed by the Valencian Community, with seven (three less than the previous edition); Extremadura with three; Catalonia and Castilla-La Mancha with two; and Andalusia, Cantabria, Galicia, the Region of Murcia and Navarra with only one. To swell the category of ‘excellent’ municipalities, Andalusia with 14 municipalities, followed by Catalonia with eight, the Valencian Community with three, the Canary Islands, the Basque Country and Castilla y León with two, and the rest with one, with the exception Asturias, Cantabria, Extremadura, the Region of Murcia, Navarra and La Rioja, in which no municipality meets the criteria.

The analysis of this fifth exercise has the novelty of two categories linked to the COVID pandemic. Although the investment made by city councils in general rose by 7.6% in 2020, consolidating an upward trend already shown in previous years, there were 25 municipalities that, having spent less than the average, also reduced their investment in social services in the midst of the crisis and they showed “a manifest social insensitivity by reducing their social spending per inhabitant”, in the words of the association. The Mejorada del Campo, in Madrid, stands out, which has cut it by 66%; Vila-seca, in Tarragona (-31%), Santa Pola, in Alicante (-23%) or Algete, in Madrid (-21%).

On the other hand, there are a score of “especially sensitive” municipalities that already had an investment of more than 100 euros per inhabitant per year, but which increased social investment by more than 20% in the year of the outbreak of the pandemic. Mogán (Las Palmas), Isla Cristina (Huelva) and San Roque (Cádiz) are the three that top this ranking.