Ecuador: Poverty slashed by social spending

Ecuadoran trade unionists mobilise, November 2014. Photo: TeleSUR.

Ecuador has lifted 1.3 million people out of poverty in the past eight years, a new survey revealed on April 13, .

The results of the first “Survey of Living Conditions in Ecuador” showed that poverty has fallen by one third. It also revealed that 900,000 individuals have been lifted out of extreme poverty, whilst the Gini coefficient, which measures wealth gaps, has dropped 4.8 points since 2006.

“Extreme poverty has reduced by 7.1 percentage points … which means that extreme poverty has been reduced by half the level which we had in 2006 nationally,” said the Director of the National Institute of Census and Statistics Jose Rosero.

With the highest public investment in Latin America at 15% of GDP, the results of the Survey of Living Conditions show the success of policies by the Ecuadorean state focused on poverty reduction and greater access to public services.

Pro-worker law passed

The revolutionary “The Law for Labour Justice and Recognition of Work from Home,” was passed by Ecuador's National Assembly on April 14, .

The law, which was first proposed by President Rafael Correa on November 15 to about 100,000 workers, passed by 91 votes to 29. The law will extend the benefits of the social security system to all Ecuadoreans wishing to be affiliated.

The reform eliminates fixed-term contracts and stipulates that jobs must be made permanent. Greater protection for women, African-Ecuadoreans and LGBT workers was specified in the law.

Further improvements include illegally sacked workers being guaranteed a year's salary. Homemakers are recognised for the first time — they will now become incorporated into the social security system.

“They are recognising 1.5 million women, homemakers, who have dedicated themselves to this work silently every day,” the Vice President of the United Workers Trade Union Federation Liliana Duran Aguilar told TeleSUR English.

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