BarcelonaThe cost of rearing a child in Catalonia is €819 per month, i.e. 30% more than just four years ago, in 2018 (€631), according to a Save the Children report published on Tuesday.
This figure is €147 above the state average of €672, and puts Catalonia as the most expensive region of those surveyed, among which are Andalusia (which is the cheapest) and Madrid. According to Save the Children, this increase in cost deters people who want to become parents because they cannot afford these costs, a fact that could explain, in part, the fertility rate of 1.21 children per woman in Catalonia.
In addition, the organisation already warns that 21% of the population cannot meet their children's needs. The head of children's policies at Save the Children Catalunya, Emilie Rivas, points out that one in three children already live in poverty. For this reason, she has called for adequate measures to prevent their situation from continuing to worsen. The organisation regrets that in Catalonia the only child benefit that existed was eliminated in 2011. Rivas stated that parenting is not being addressed politically as an investment in the future and considered that families are an "essential" factor that contributes to the productive system and to society as a whole.
Products that have risen the most compared to July 2018
From July 2018 to March this year, the prices of products have soared by 11.3%. When the different expenses of parenting are compared, these are the ones that have risen the most:
- Energy supplies: 53%
- Furniture and furnishings: 30%
- Toys: 25%
- Clothing and footwear: 14%
- Food: 13%
The type of expenditure depends on children's age, since up to the age of six the biggest expense is childcare, whether in nurseries, babysitters or nursery schools. Between the ages of 0 and 3, this cost accounts for a third of the total, and between 4 and 6, a fifth. From 7 years of age onwards, the most expensive item is food. Rivas called for support for families at all stages of childhood.
In this sense, he asked for more investment in key services such as education, school meals, housing and transportation, as well as specific benefits. He has also called for the reformulation of the guaranteed income of citizenship to favour families with dependent children in poverty and the creation of a €100 parenting supplement. He also opted for a housing supplement and making employment compatible with receiving benefits.