What is the Minimum Budget for an Adequate Social Participation in Spain? An Estimate Through the Reference Budgets Approach
In Spain, the percentage of population living in poverty or social exclusionhas consistently increased since 2007. This trend makes it unlikely to reach the SpanishNational Europe 2020 target, which is to reduce in 1.400.000 the people at risk ofpoverty or exclusion. At the same time, the Spanish Minimum Income ProtectionSchemes are complex, fragmented and inefficient. In the context of the Europe 2020Strategy, reference budgets are regarded as a tool to improve poverty measurement andassess income adequacy. This paper describes the development of the Spanish Reference Budgets: priced baskets containing the minimum goods and services necessary forwell-described types of families to have an adequate social participation. The studyhere presented combines various sources of information: national guidelines, expertopinion, scientific literature, survey data on cultural habits and focus group discussionsusing a cross-country comparable approach. Based on a needs-based perspective, wehave estimated a minimum budget threshold that ranges from 427€ to 1569€/monthdepending on the type of family. Without considering housing and car costs, the healthyfood budget is the one that represents a higher share of the total budget in all familytypes. The weight of the other baskets depends on the household composition, mainlyon the presence of children. The aim of our approach is to assess family and childrenneeds, as well as to orient policies designed to guarantee social rights and reducechildren poverty and social exclusion.