Frente Cívico – Somos Mayoría – Madrid

Centro – Chamartín – Moratalaz

Spain: The Minister of Education’s Many Gaffes

The Spanish Minister of Education, Culture, and Sport, José Ignacio Wert, has sparked controversy after controversy since starting the position less than a year ago. It isn’t an accident that he is the minister with the worst approval rating in the entire government. In a country troubled more and more by austerity measures affecting all parts of society, education is a sore subject. In budget estimations for the 2012/2013 term, education suffered a cutback of almost 22%, meanwhile higher Value Added Tax (VAT) rates that went into effect in September have spiked the tax on school materials 17 points, going from the superreduced rate of 4% to the general rate of 21%. Even though textbooks continue to be taxed at 4%, the budget for grants to help with the purchase of books has been reduced by 70%, which means that many families have been forced to cover the cost. And that’s not the only thing being slashed from the budget – money allocated for meal programs, school transportation and scholarships has also been reduced… (