Basic public services expenditure per capita differs up to 42% across regions
In 2016 (latest year available), Spain’s expenditure in education, health and social protection, known as basic public services (BPS) that make up the welfare state and are competence of the regional administrations and Social Security, had a 5 percentage point lower share of GDP than the average of the euro area. The decrease in tax revenues hindered the regions from protecting their spending in BPS, but the cutbacks were different among the regions. Only the regions of Cantabria and Basque Country have currently recovered the 2009 levels. The differences between the region with the highest (Basque Country) and lowest (Canary Islands) expenditure in basic public services per capita differed up to 42% in 2016. These differences have existed since before the transfer of powers to the regions in 2002 and have resulted in unequal access to public services and disparities in the level of well-being of citizens among regions.