1.5m Belgians are living in poverty

2nd December 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 December 2005, BRUSSELS — Some 15 percent of the Belgian population or 1.5 million people are living below the poverty line.

2 December 2005

BRUSSELS — Some 15 percent of the Belgian population or 1.5 million people are living below the poverty line.

The Antwerp University study said the poverty line was a monthly income of EUR 772 for a single person. Researchers said the minimum survival wage is EUR 150 below that figure.

To determine the number of poor people in Belgium, the researchers used a different source than in previous years, opting this year to use European studies.

A distinction between the number of people living in poverty in Wallonia and Flanders was not included in the university study, 'Poverty and Social Exclusion Yearbook 2005'.

However, being in paid employment no longer appears to be a guarantee against poverty, with 4 to 6 percent of workers classified as being poor, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported.

The researchers also said the that OCMW social security offices are increasingly needing to cover shortfalls in policy areas such as employment, education, training, accommodation and consumption pressures that lead to debt.

The yearbook also said it is a paradox that so many OCMW workers need to provide both assistance and conduct assessments.

A lack of harmony between various policy levels was pinpointed by the researchers as the biggest problem in combating poverty.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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