La Dinàmica de la despesa social a Espanya cap a Maastricht


  • Jacint Ros Hombravella


Social expenditure is an economic policy objective which builds up cohesion and stability by affecting the quality of lifi through health and education and influencing social values. On the other hand there are also financial and economic growth costs. In Spain redistribution 1985-1993 has taken place mainly through social expenditure and to a lesser degree through fiscal measures. In 1975 the public sector was underdeveloped and the private sector highhy intervened. Since the end of the dictatorship Spain's public sector has recovered 14 points, doubling in size, although it is still below the European average. Indirect social salary is conrposed of 60% monetary transfers and 40% public services at political prices below cost. The level of fraud affects 25% of beneficiaries, the result of building up a Welfare State without reforming first the public sector. Social expenditure has a high fiscal cost. Social expenditures are maintained at the expense of growth, lower employrnent, less personal saving, higher interest rates, crowding out, a brake on competition and reduced public investment. Redistribution to the middle classes is a redundant policy. However social expenditure is the safety net to a stable social and political evolution of Spanish society.