The Catalan Ombudsman sees a rise in complaints related with social benefits in times of crisis


The Catalan Ombudsman has seen the impact of the crisis in the increased complaints that indicate situations of social exclusion and difficulty in exercising basic rights. At the presentation in Parliament of the 2009 Annual Report, the Catalan Ombudsman urged that the priorities of fighting social exclusion be accentuated in times of crisis.

Budgetary restrictions have affected services and benefits in areas especially sensitive for equal opportunities such as education, social services, children's affairs or housing.

Over the course of 2009, the Catalan Ombudsman carried out 24,960 actions, with 5,941 complaints, 105 ex-officio actions and 18,914 queries. These actions made for a 5,2% increase over the prior year. As this is the last report from the Catalan Ombudsman's term that began in 2004, it must be noted that since that time there has been a 278% increase in activities. In other words, for each action that the Catalan Ombudsman's office took in 2004, 3.8 were taken in 2009.