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Report that the new Income Guarantee Income regulation entails "secret" cuts

  • The Argilan platform of the ESK trade union, the Berri Otxoak platform and the Socialist Housing Union of the Basque Country will resort to the new RGI regulations, because it will limit access to benefit and "cut more rights", they say.
Asteazkenean agerraldia egin dute Bilbon, helegitea jarri eta manifestazioa iragartzeko. Argazkia: Euskal Herriko Etxebizitza Sindikatu Sozialista

16 February 2024 - 08:49
Last updated: 10:50

During this month of November the Revenue Guarantee Income (RGI) regulations of Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa have been updated, denouncing the social groups that have resulted in "confidential" cuts. The Argilan and Berri Otxoak platforms and the Socialist Housing Union of the Basque Country have explained that several changes have meant the violation of "fundamental rights" that will harm the recipients.

The members of these groups appeared on Wednesday before the High Court of Justice of the Basque Country in Bilbao, which has appealed to the courts to update the RGI.

They denounce that this update has changed the concept of "accommodation", so those who do not have a property under title, property or lease will not be able to access the RGI. This would exclude all those who do not have a contract, such as those who have occupied housing, those who have only a rented room or those who live in sub-leased housing.

On the other hand, these groups have denounced that the administration has now placed more difficulties in another benefit. To access the Economic Housing Benefit, registration in Etxebide for three years will be mandatory. This benefit replaces previous aid since last April.

They denounce that the update of the RGI has changed the concept of "accommodation", so that those who do not have a property under title, property or lease will not be able to access the benefit. This would exclude all those who do not have a contract.

"What we are challenging in court today is only the tip of the iceberg. We must add to the various reforms and cutbacks that are taking place in housing benefits, which aim to eliminate the most impoverished sectors," they explain.

Thus, on 24 February, a demonstration was organised in Bilbao "against cuts, against criminalisation and impoverishment and for quality living conditions for all people", which will be released at 12:00 from Plaza Moyua.

A legal symbol, a trap for others

Last year the new IGR law entered into force. Idoia Mendia has been one of the legal hallmarks of the vice-president and the PSE, and socialist parliamentarians were proud to pass the law in December 2022 in the Gasteiz parliament.

For fifteen years the law has meant an increase in the figures in the IGR table that citizens have an inalienable right, as well as increasing their access possibilities, according to the promoters. In addition to the PSE-EE and the PNV, Elkarrekin Podemos and IU voted in favour, EH Bildu abstained saying that more could be done and the PP and Vox voted against.

However, many social groups were critical of the law, among other reasons because it leaves 30% of the population at risk of poverty uncovered.

The Basque Country Pensioners' Movement, for example, denounced the Basque Government's "trap" in 2019, complemented by the IGR in order not to raise minimum pensions to the minimum wage level, as required by the previous law of 2008.

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