«Transferencias sociales y prevención de la pobreza», Salvador Busquets

Hace cinco años y medio que comenzó la crisis. Todos creímos que sería pasajera, pero la crisis no sólo se ha consolidado sino que su amplitud e intensidad ha desbordado cualquier previsión y la ha confirmado como la peor crisis del mundo occidental desde el final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Lo que empezó siendo sobre todo un problema financiero -las famosas subprimes- pronto se trasladó a la economía productiva. La persistencia de la recesión económica, agravada por problemas estructurales propios del modelo económico español -como la burbuja inmobiliaria o la elevada tasa de desempleo- han acabado afectando al conjunto de la sociedad. El último informe INSOCAT publicado por ECAS, Desigualdades y pobreza en un entorno de crisis, lo pone de relieve: ha aumentado la pobreza y la desigualdad. Todos lo sabíamos, pero el informe de ECAS introduce elementos nuevos a considerar. Quiero destacar cuatro:

– La turbulencia que estamos viviendo es de tal magnitud que algunos de los indicadores que hasta ahora empleábamos son insuficientes para explicar la complejidad de la situación actual. Es el caso de la tasa de riesgo de pobreza, que en 2011 muestra una mejora respecto al año anterior que no se corresponde con lo que vemos día a día. La propia definición del indicador, porcentaje de la población con una renta inferior al 60% de los ingresos mediana, impide captar una realidad que en pocas ocasiones se había producido: el empobrecimiento general y sostenido del conjunto de la población. Este empobrecimiento generalizado hace que familias que hoy tienen unos ingresos que los sitúan por encima de la tasa de riesgo de pobreza, con los mismos ingresos en años anteriores habrían estado por debajo de esta tasa y se les habría considerado en situación de pobreza. No es que ellos hayan mejorado, es que todo lo demás ha empeorado.

– El segundo elemento se refiere a las situaciones de pobreza extrema. Sus dos indicadores principales se han disparado, haciendo que en relación a los datos del año 2008 la privación material severa se haya multiplicado por 3,6 y la baja intensidad de trabajo por 2,3. Este empeoramiento de las condiciones de vida de quien menos tiene, es también una novedad de esta crisis.

– El tercer elemento a destacar es el papel de las transferencias sociales y su capacidad para reducir la pobreza. El informe de ECAS separa el efecto de las pensiones y el del resto de transferencias. Las pensiones hacen disminuir la tasa de riesgo de pobreza en 16,5 puntos y el resto de transferencias en 7,2, haciendo que la tasa pase del 42,7 al 19,1. A la vista de los datos deberíamos dejar de hablar de gasto social y utilizar el término ‘inversión social’, por su capacidad de prevenir la pobreza y frenar la desigualdad.

Es gracias a esta inversión que el único colectivo que ha disminuido la tasa de riesgo de pobreza es el de mayores de 65 años. Ha sido, además, unos disminución significativa, pasando de una tasa del 25,4 en 2008, al 17,7 en 2011, una reducción de un tercio. Ahora que se están cuestionando las pensiones y se están endureciendo las condiciones de acceso y los importes, habría que tener muy presente sus efectos.

– Por último, el informe de ECAS pone de relieve el aumento de la desigualdad (observa por cualquiera de los indicadores de desigualdad disponibles: índice de Gini, S80/S20 o S90/S10). El primer informe INSOCAT de ECAS, publicado en abril de 2012, ya indicaba que este aumento de la desigualdad era un fenómeno característico de nuestro entorno, el estado español y Cataluña, y que no se producía en el conjunto de la Unión Europea.

Hasta aquí un resumen de los datos que aporta el informe de ECAS. Ahora hay que situarlas en el contexto actual. Lo primero que quisiera destacar es que ni en tiempos de bonanza supimos reducir la pobreza ni en tiempos de crisis hemos sabido frenar la desigualdad. Han sido oportunidades perdidas.

Sorprende que, a la vista de los datos, se continúe con la política de querer reducir las transferencias sociales. Programas de renta mínima, ayudas a la vivienda, políticas activas de empleo… no hay programa social que no haya sufrido importantes recortes. No parece que otros instrumentos hayan conseguido sus objetivos y, sin embargo, continúan recibiendo importantes dotaciones económicas.

Así, por ejemplo, estos días hemos sabido que las pérdidas del FROB en los últimos 3 años son del orden de 37.000 millones de euros. Con este importe se podría garantizar durante 200 años el presupuesto que la Generalitat destina al programa de la Renta Mínima de Inserción. Aunque no se ha conseguido que el crédito llegue a las empresas ni que se frene la sangría de los desahucios, las ayudas a la banca no se ponen en cuestión. Con un mercado de trabajo incapaz de generar empleo y garantizar unos ingresos estables a las familias, limitar las transferencias sociales es un grave error.

Por último, la duración de la crisis permite reubicar las diferentes políticas que se han aplicado. El mantra de la austeridad empieza a ser cuestionado incluso por algunos de los que lo impusieron. El Fondo Monetario Internacional ha reconocido que en el caso de Grecia se equivocó al calcular la relación entre la disminución del déficit y la disminución del PIB. Otros estudios, como el de David Stuckler y Sanjay Basu, Por qué la austeridad mata, van en la misma dirección: la reducción de las políticas de salud y sociales están comportando una disminución del PIB superior al ahorro conseguido. Ante este panorama, las transferencias sociales están cumpliendo con el objetivo de garantizar unos condiciones de vida suficientes para amplias capas de población. Es el momento de reforzarlas.

Fonte: http://blog.cristianismeijusticia.net/?p=9783&lang=es

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