surinenglish

Minimum income approved with no MPs voting against

Deputy PM and UP leader, Pablo Iglesias speaks in Congreso this week.
Deputy PM and UP leader, Pablo Iglesias speaks in Congreso this week. / EFE
  • The PP, the main conservative opposition party, voted in favour, winning unlikely praise from within the governing coalition

The government secured the almost unanimous backing in Congreso on Wednesday for its flagship welfare policy reform.

All the opposition voted in favour of the new minimum living income, except hard-right Vox, whose MPs abstained.

The new 'ingreso mínimo vital' benefit from the left-wing PSOE-Unidas Podemos (UP) coalition is especially designed to reduce child poverty and help the most vulnerable find work. Up to 850,000 households could benefit, says the government.

After the antagonising debates between the government and opposition parties in the Congreso chamber during the Covid-19 crisis, the government was taken aback by the support from the conservative Partido Popular (PP), the main opposition party.

Deputy prime minister and UP leader, Pablo Iglesias said, "Let's hope that [the PP] keeps going in that direction, towards consensus."

The PP party said it was supporting the move as it was based on an idea largely in place within regional governments already. Vox decided to abstain, fearing that the benefit could attract more illegal immigration. All opposition parties urged the government to make sure the benefit was not a disincentive to find work.