The CPAS (Public Welfare Centre) of the Belgian kingdom requires the next special council of ministers in early July to adopt a phased total strategy of 2.3 billion euros.
The strategy aims at implementing an increase of all social allowances up to the European poverty line, i.e. over 2,000 euros for families with two children. “With an income of 1,180 euros per family with 2 children, it is impossible to meet the challenges that arise in a city like Brussels”, explained Jean Spinette (SP), co-president of the Brussels CPAS federation.
In addition to raising allowances, the CPAS of the country is calling on the government to increase the number of low-skilled people at work and raise the lowest wages by adjusting taxation and employers and employees’ social security contributions.
Finally, the representative sections of the three federations of the cities and municipalities of the country request better support from the CPAS.
All three organisations acknowledge that the federal government has already taken a number of measures in support of the fight against poverty. But, like those taken by previous governments, they lack ambition, they say.
Belgium will not achieve the objectives it has set for itself: a decrease of 380,000 people living in conditions of poverty as compared to 2010, according to the EU2020 Strategy, and the extinction of poverty from now to 2030, according to the UN’s sustainable development goal.
For the last ten to fifteen years, one fifth of the Belgian population (2.3 million people) is facing a risk of poverty, a reality that has not changed. And from 2004 to 2016, the number of recipients of integration income or equivalent income increased by 27%. However, this income is 33% below the poverty line.