September 16, 2019
 In Income Inequality

Country: Spain
Delegate Name: Eve Orban

United Nations Development Programme
Income Inequality
Kingdom of Spain
Eve Orban
Forest Hills Eastern

Income inequality measures how unevenly income is distributed throughout a particular population. The less equal the distribution of wealth, the higher the income inequality is. It can be represented by a value known as the Gini Coefficient, which measures how much a nation’s income distribution varies from equal distribution. The measure goes from 0 to 100, with 0 being perfect equality and 100 being perfect inequality. Causes for income inequality derive from policies that discriminate against attributes such as gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability, and migrant or refugee status. For example, women put in around 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work that goes unrecognized. Income inequality can affect life expectancy, access to basic services such as education and sanitation, and limit a person’s individual rights. In 2018, 71 countries saw declines in political and civil liberties. Income inequality depresses economic growth by discouraging skill and human developments and reducing economic and social mobility. It contributes to social discord and conflict due to it developing feelings of uncertainty and insecurity within institutions. Climate change, technological developments, and COVID-19 have all dramatically increased the global levels of income inequality.

Spain has a Gini Coefficient of 34.7. While this number is relatively substantial on its own, it is expected to rise in the future. This can largely be attributed to a high unemployment rate, around 12.67%. And, when jobs are found, there is usually a struggle with low wages in only temporary positions. Another factor is a low education rate in Spain and a perpetuation of social immobility within the country. Economic crises such as the recession in 2008 and the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an increase in Spain’s income inequality. In order to combat this inequality, Spain has contributed heavily to various efforts such as the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, which have a focus on economic growth, poverty reduction, and sustainable development. In June of 2020, Spain unanimously passed the social security benefit Minimum Subsistence Income (MSI), which works to reduce extreme poverty and assist in integrating those in risk of exclusion in the workplace. Spain supports the Sustainable Development Goals set in place by the UN. Under the new Sustainable Development Cooperation and Global Solidarity bills under the UN agenda, Spain is committed to developing cooperation efforts to tackle inequality, poverty, environmental crises, gender equality, human rights and democracy.

In order for Spain and other nations to escape their income inequality issues, they will need to focus their efforts on the poor and young. The Spanish government will need to address problems within education and unemployment which became dire during the pandemic. Along with Spain, nations will have to push the agenda of the SDGS, specifically SDG 10.

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