The budget cuts leave thousands of people on the edge of social vulnerability


(c) Síndic

Catalan Ombudsman, Rafael Ribó, delivered to Parliament's President, Núria de Gispert, the 2012 Anual Yearbook. He states the lack of coordination between governments exacerbates the effects of reductions

• The core of social rights system will be irreparably affected if the central Government deficit to 0.7 is imposed on the Catalan Government.

• The lack of clear answers to problems such as eviction explains the growing disenchantment and outrage of people towards public institutions.

• The lack of a law regulating and guaranteeing the right of access to information and transparency is not justifiable. A chance to advance in the quality and democratic control of public power has been missed.

• The increase in complaints to the Ombudsman since the beginning of the crisis has been 38.7%.


1) Effects on social rights

In the reports of the previous three years, with different parliamentary and governmental majorities, the Ombudsman drew attention of budgetary cuts and the risks to cross certain red lines. This year must it be stated that the damage to many social rights, especially of the most vulnerable people, caused by budgetary cuts has been severe, and in some cases, with consequences difficult to reverse in short or medium term.

The Ombudsman wants to warn explicitly about highly negative consequences of new and strong budgetary cuts in social policies as a result of the drastic limitations in the coefficient deficit. We are on the edge of affecting the core of the social rights system, which would be seriously shaken with new restrictions and would increase the vulnerability of different groups as highlighted in the reports of the Ombudsman.

Decisions driven by the State Government and the Catalan Government have been made without any dialogue that would ensure coordination of action. The State Government is primarily responsible for the lack of a stable framework for dialogue with many autonomous regions to rationalize the real impact of decisions to reduce spending. In fact, the low dialog Catalan Government-State caused additional effects that could have been avoided if both governments had previously agreed on the actions that should be carried out.