DAY 12, BUS 2: Transfer to Porto

5 May 2018

The theme in Santiago yesterday was the false claims and messages sent out about Minimum Income Recipients. EMIN champions seven key positive contributions that well designed, adequate, accessible and enabling, minimum income schemes can make to our societies:

1)   They function to combat and to prevent poverty and enable people to live in dignity.

2)   They support people to be active in society and facilitates their progressive (re) integration into the labour market.

3)   They promote cohesion and in the context of the changing world of work they can facilitate periods of transitions which is an increasing feature of our day to day lives.

4)   They set a minimum floor for income levels and therefore can help to ensure decent wages and revers the destructive trend of growing numbers of ‘working poor’.

5)   They help to achieve more equal societies and more equal societies are better for everyone

6)   They support local shops and services as the money is immediately spent. This can be vital to maintain local economies, especially in communities experiencing disadvantages.

7)   Minimum Income Schemes represent a small portion of social spending and give a very high return on investment and avoid the enormous personal and societal costs associated to non-investment, such as the costs of poor health, early school drop out, forced participation in informal economy, lost of talent and creativity……

Ensuring progress in achieving improvements in the minimum income schemes is firstly a challenge to change the negative discourse that has developed in relation to social protection and social welfare.

One of the very interesting aspects of this road tour is that our driver has a particular talent to engage drivers and workers in discussions about our road trip at the road side steps.  They often give very encouraging messages for our efforts.