DAY 14, BUS 2: Porto

8 May 2018

What a day in Porto today! Great workshops at the bus. The recent improvements in the minimum income schemes were welcomed but the need for Minimum Income support to be combined with social housing or with support for the cost of housing was strongly highlighted.

Great welcome for the Minister for Work, Solidarity and Social Security, Jose Viera de Silva, by a music group from a local school. The Minister gave a very thoughtful intervention, acknowledging that the scheme in Portugal lifts people from extreme poverty but is not adequate to lift people out of poverty. His historical memory of the developments in relation to Minimum Income at EU level makes him a potentially ideal champion to ensure follow up of the minimum income principle in the European Pillar of Social Rights.   

Very clear analysis of the minimum income schemes in Portugal by two beneficiaries, Cidalia Barriga and Francisco Rico. They made a clear articulation of the faults and limits of the scheme, while clearly recognising the ‘life line’ that the schemes gave to them. Carlos Farinha Rodrigues, Professor of the University of Lisbon presented clear figures to show that despite its short comings, the minimum income scheme in Portugal is both effective and efficient.

Quote of the day: “The minimum income scheme was clearly not enough but it allowed me to feed my children and to ensure they could continue with their education”  Cidalia Barriga.