Out-of-work living with parents to lose subsidy
Government toughens conditions for “Plan Prepara”
As was expected, the Cabinet on Friday announced a reform of the so-called Plan Prepara, a state subsidy for the long-term out-of-work who are no longer entitled to unemployment payments.
The conservative Popular Party (PP) government is going to raise the subsidy from 400 to 450 euros for people with at least two dependents in their care (besides their partner). But at the same time those who qualify but are living with their families will no longer be eligible if the latter has income of their own.
The point of the reform, according to Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, is to give more money to the worst-off unemployed while taking it away from others who have their families to support them. The budget for this program will not change.
Employment Minister Fátima Báñez said Friday that the reform to the Plan Prepara, originally created by the Socialist administration of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, is “more equitable and fair,” and used two examples to illustrate her point.
The first was a four-member family made up of parents who bring in a joint 8,000 euros a month and have two unemployed children, and the second was a family made up of grandparents with a joint income of 900 euros, a single mother out of a job and her son, who earns 1,000 a month. Under the old rules, said Báñez, the children in the first family would be eligible for the 400-euro check despite the family earnings, while the single mother in the second family would be left out.
From now on, eligibility for state aid will be measured by adding up the incomes of all household members, whether children or parents of the applicant, and dividing the figure by the number of dwellers.
“The PP government will not leave anyone in the lurch,” said party official Esteban González Pons. “Nobody in the worst of situations is going to be left out.”