The municipality of Almachar in Málaga province, population around 2,100, is increasing its financial aid to families who have a baby during 2013, the so-called ‘baby cheque’.
The Council has increased the budget for social assistance from €15,000 to €20,000 and they say that maintaining social benefits is not difficult because they have none of the so-called ‘positions of trust’ or representation at the Council, no official car for the Mayor and no special meals allowances. There is only an amount of €7,000 allocated for protocols.
This means that financial assistance to families who have a baby during 2013 will be €600 in €50 vouchers in the first year of the child’s life which can be redeemed for staple goods at local stores, the payment of meningitis and chicken pox vaccines (worth €450) and 12 days of employment for one of the parents if one of them is out of work.
In addition, Almachar offers free child care for all children in the municipality, a 30% subsidy for building works on a first property and free use of sports facilities for anyone under the age of 17 years and only a €20 per year contribution for those over the age of 17 years.
However, this year residents will have to pay 20% extra for water and rubbish collection, which works out at between €40 and €52 per quarter. These costs have risen steeply in the past few years and the Council decided to pass on the increase in order to maintain the social benefits for residents.