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Spain pensioners are in the money

Local 19THERE are strong signs that Spain is slowly getting back on its feet after the credit crunch.

And it seems that some of this goodwill is finding its way into the pockets of pensioners.

According to official figures released this week, the Social Security handed out eight billion euros in pensions this month, which was 3.3% more than in the same period last year.

But this includes a healthy rise to every pensioner because the average pension is up 2.1% compared with a year ago

This inflation-busting rise will please pensioners just a year before the next General Election, and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is coming good on his promise to put more money in people’s pockets.

But this amazing increase has raised eyebrows as the Spanish recovery is still viewed as extremely fragile – and the country is experiencing a 0.25% deflation, rather than inflation.

For the whole of Spain, the average pension is 996.23 euros a month, while the average in the Canary Islands is 810.25 euros, according to Ministry of Employment and Social Security.

Spanish pensions, like welfare payments, are weighed according to local contributions and the cost of living. So pensions in Madrid, average, 1027.87 euros, are superior to Andalusia, where the average is 787.75 euros.

The Basque Region and pensioners in the capital get the most money, and seven regions exceed the national average pension.

These include Basque Country (1,072.94 euros), plus Madrid and Asturias (1,025.66), who have the biggest pay-out.

The Canarias are ranked in the middle, while pensioners in the Balearics (796.56), Murcia (765.85), Galicia (731.73) and Extremadura (731.17) get the least.

In Spain, like many countries, there are different types of pensions: retirement, permanent disability, widowhood, orphanhood and family.

 

And all these different “bands” had a healthy increase. The average widow’s pension this month stood at 623 euros per month, up 1%, while the permanent disability averaged a monthly sum of 914.35, an increase of 0.9%.

Also, the average orphan’s pension amounted to 3 69.84 per month, up 0.5% from April 2013, while the total for family members stood at 507.07 a month – a rise of 1.6%.

In total, the Social Security paid pensions to 9,172,026 people for April, which was the highest ever.

The near-1,000-euro average pension is seen by many European states as over-generous, but Spain has a rich history of looking after its citizens.

Its pension compares favourably with the average wage in Spain, which is officially 1,615 euros per month.

This is 17% lower than the European average, but it is a lopsided figure because rich countries like Switzerland, whose average monthly wage is over 4,000 euros, or Norway (3,554 euros), inflate the figures artificially.

Rajoy’s government is neck and neck with the opposition in the latest opinion polls.

The Prime Minister has suffered public unrest recently following his austerity measures and his unpopular stance on the abortion reforms.

But he is earning brownie points for his strong stance on keeping Spain intact, and fighting any independence from Catalonia.

He is also seen as a better statesman than Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, and this week’s pension boost will also prove popular in the next General Election, which must be held before 21st December 2015.

 

 

 

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=22244

Posted by on Apr 25 2014. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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