[17 Oct] Cuts bring poverty ¡Speak up!

This year, the commemoration of the World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty (17 October) becomes particularly important. The number of people who live in poverty and suffer exclusion is increasing because of the crisis and the ongoing cuts. Almost 27% of the Spanish population is going through this situation. About 1.3 billion people all over the world live in extreme poverty and nearly one billion suffer from hunger and have no access to clean water and other basic services such as health and education.

The Spanish Alliance Against Poverty - formed by NGOs, social movements, labor unions, environmental organizations, along with feminist and religious - organized a demonstration on October 17th, the same day the World Day to Overcome Extreme Poverty is commemorated, to speak out against the recent cuts and to remind the world there are other ways to do politics. Policies based on cuts impoverish the Spanish population and the population all over the world. Along with the ongoing cuts in Health, Education and Social Services, which are far below the European average in social expenditures (22.7% in Spain in comparison with the 30% in the European Union), there are severe cuts in Development Cooperation. The budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain in the Spanish Budgets for 2012 decreased 54.4% and in the same year, the budget of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (in Spanish AECID) decreased 56.4%. Thus, Development Cooperation is left with half of their financing items. The situation can become worse with the Budgets for 2013 which will be processed in a few weeks.

Therefore, the Spanish Alliance against poverty claims that there are other options outside cuts and rescues. Every year Spain loses around 90 billion dollars due to tax evasion, eleven times more than the amount assigned to Health, Social Service, Education, Cooperation, and the Dependency Law.