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Nachtengel
Friday, October 24th, 2008, 04:13 PM
According to European statistics, one in seven Belgians or almost 15 percent of the Belgian population is living below the poverty line.

The minimum grant jobless people are entitled to, is 711 euros a month at present. The Flemish association for the fight against poverty wants to have this benefit raised to 860 euros, which represents a 21 percent rise.
"No money for the poor, billions for the banks"

However, the government has only promised 2 percent for next year. The state secretary responsible for the fight against poverty, Jean-Marc Delizée (Francophone socialist), says the government cannot act immediately.

"My aim is to have nobody living below the poverty line", Mr Delizée explains. "This costs a lot of money though and we will not be able to achieve this goal in one year. I think it will take some years to close the gap, but I will support such a plan year after year."

Anke Hintjes of the Flemish Network for Poverty is disappointed. "They say there is no money, but at the same we see that billions of euros can be found for the banks in a couple of weeks. This is really shocking."

No teeth since a year and a half

Many people living below the poverty threshold can't afford decent housing or basic needs. A lady at the Katelijne square explains that she is living without teeth for almost a year and a half. "I simply can't afford new teeth. It's too expensive."

Johnny now has a job, but he used to be homeless. "It was a daily struggle to survive, to find a toilet, something to eat, a dry spot to sleep. Time and again. I was lucky because it happened during summer, but it's even tougher in winter."

Nele says the poor should get more respect from people. "The poor are often stigmatised. They can't do anything, they are lazy, stupid, dirty... But that's not true. They simply don't get a chance."


When is someone considered as poor?

In the European Union, someone is considered poor when he or she has an income below 860 euros.

For families including two adults and two children, the poverty threshold has been set at 1,805 euros per month.

In Belgium, 14.7 percent of the people do not meet these minimum standards. Most at risk are those who have no job (the unemployed or pensioners), people living alone or single-parent families.http://www.deredactie.be/cm/de.redactie.english/news/081017_Poverty_Day

BeornWulfWer
Friday, October 24th, 2008, 04:31 PM
For families including two adults and two children, the poverty threshold has been set at 1,805 euros per month.


Am I correct in my thinking this is £1,455?

That's me well below the poverty line then! But I am unemployed, so it doesn't count.
But that is still a good wage for a family of four. That is not poverty!

ladybright
Friday, October 24th, 2008, 04:44 PM
That is low income but not dire at 2,314.08 US Dollar.

SwordOfTheVistula
Saturday, October 25th, 2008, 08:56 AM
Yeah, this 'poverty line' seems rather arbitrary.


The minimum grant jobless people are entitled to, is 711 euros a month at present. The Flemish association for the fight against poverty wants to have this benefit raised to 860 euros, which represents a 21 percent rise. the government has only promised 2 percent for next year.

An increase of 'only' 2% would correlate with inflation, correct? Why should jobless people be entitled to a 21% raise when few if any people who work for a living get a 21% increase in a year?


Most at risk are those who have no job (the unemployed or pensioners), people living alone or single-parent families.

Obviously you're going to be poor if you don't have a job. As to living alone-just get roommates?