As yet, the age at which income tax will be reduced has not been confirmed, but it is also expected to apply to pensioners who are disabled, even those who are much younger.
Montoro says the tax deduction – an as-yet unconfirmed amount – will be included in the 2018 budget and is ‘in recognition of the interest costs’ involved in ageing.
He says disabled persons of all ages already benefit from income tax reductions, but that these will be reinforced for elderly residents.
Despite the former socialist government under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s having approved the Law of Dependence in 2007, allowing financial benefits to be paid to the elderly, sick or disabled or to those who care for them, obtaining these funds continues to be a postcode lottery and often involves waits of several years, which is frequently too late for the dependents and the relatives or friends who look after them.
Elderly care continues, in Spain, to be largely provided by immediate family, with the burden tending to fall to female relatives, a high number of whom are over 60 – typically the children of much older residents – and often include the spouses or partners of senior citizens.
Spain’s government hopes to address this in part by freeing up funding for facilities needed for the elderly, or for paying outside carers where no relatives are available to provide care or they have to work full-time.
Already, many town councils offer grants towards structural adaptations in homes, such as replacing stairs with lifts, for disabled and very old residents.