28/05/2014 – Yesterday new data from INE Survey of Quality of Life ( CVD) were published. 2013 final data , with the headline “In the last year, the population at risk of poverty has fallen to 20.4 % compared to 20.8 % last year.” This holder contains two distortions. The first is the so-called statistical effect: poverty is called “relative ” because it is related to the level of the average household income. And in Spain , the average household income has done nothing but fall since 2008 , from 30,045 euros then to the 27,747 euros now. It decreased in 3.5 % only in the last year. That means the poverty line has moved down has well. That actually means that the less we earn, the poorer we are, … the lower the percentage of ” relative poverty”. But therefore, those on fixed income, such as pensioners and retirees, with households ‘theoretically” individual, have gone over that threshold, even if only of a few euros. With this calculation , in 2009 , 23.8 % of older people were in relative poverty and only only 12.7 % today ! Likewise, according to that calculation,child poverty has dropped since 2009,from 28.9% of those under 16 years, to 26.7 % now.The second distortion is the change in the calculation methodology. This convenient “retouch” is supposedly done to get a more precise quantification of the income declared, comparing the data of the Treasury and / or Social Security. But not only are the data not comparable with those of CVD itself, but with the rest of the EU (which do not follow this criterion) .
Under the new methodology , people supposedly said “the truth” in the survey in 2009 (as it quite matched the “administrative records”), whereas differences start from 2011 onwards. (…).
The data that really count
We have to consider the other two components of the AROPE (At Risk of Poverty and Social Exclusion) indicator, which is used in the Europe 2020 Strategy to calculate increases or decreases in reducing poverty in Europe.
The first is the severe material deprivation , which increased from 5.8 to 6.2% between 2012 and 2013. Figures show that severe material deprivation worsen the results on several variables. 16.9% of households declare having “great difficulties” in making ends meet at the end of the month ( 3.4% more than last year ) , 41 % have no ability to handle unforeseen problems (41.4% in 2012). 9.3% have late payments related to housing ( 0.9% more than in 2012). The press release does not provide interesting data on other variables (yes they are in the database of the INE website ) such as reference to keep the home warm in the winter months , and protein intake twice a week , whereas these are an additional negative impact.
The last indicator, which measures the low employment intensity of households , is also negative , affecting 16.5 % in 2013 , compared to 2012, when it was 14.3 %.As a result of these three indicators, the Arope , which is of most interest to note , worsening over the previous year, even with the data at low relative poverty . Go from 26.7 % in 2011 to 27.2 % in 2012 and 27.3 % in 2013.