Both the poverty threshold and poverty rate in Belgium are unrealistically low, claims Philippe Defeyt and Anne-Catherine Guio, researchers at IDD (Institute for Sustainable Development) at a joint press conference with RWLP (Walloon Rally against Poverty) on Monday. A more likely poverty threshold would be 1,200 euros per month in Belgium, instead of the 1,095 euros resulting from the latest European update by SILC (Statistics on Income and Living Conditions), “if all income streams, including property income, were taken into account,” highlighted the experts a few days before Friday’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
The average annual disposable income per capita at 2015 prices as calculated by IDD is 2,500 euros higher than SILC’s, which underestimates property income, added the experts, pleading for indicators to be cross-referenced. “This affects both the poverty threshold and the poverty rate. We are talking about 1,800 euros per year for a family of 4. It reveals a likely lower poverty rate for the over-65s (since many of them are property-owners) and a higher one for the under-65s. This is a new take on society and would influence what new policies are implemented,” explains Philippe Defeyt.
The poverty rate in Belgium is estimated at between 14.2% and 16.8% of the population in 2014. “Why have we seen no increase in the past 10 years in spite of the economic crisis these past 5 years?”, wonders Philippe Defeyt. The poverty threshold, worked out as 60% of median income, is 1,628 euros for a couple and 2,279 euros for a family with 2 children. Another indicator is the level of material deprivation.
Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)