The number of people given the social reintegration allowance (RIS) went up again during the first semester of 2015, according to a press release from the Institute for Sustainable Development (IDD). They looked at data provided by SPP Intégration Sociale. There has been a significant increase in RIS beneficiaries in all three regions of Belgium (up 10% compared to a year earlier), but the figure skyrocketed in Wallonia (up 15%), where it reached 54,155 people in the first trimester. Flanders has 27,054 people on RIS, and Brussels has 31,999, the IDD says.
The Institute says this increase is due to thousands of people no longer being eligible for insertion benefits. According to Onem’s figures, more than half of those no longer allowed insertion benefits live in Wallonia (19,667 less beneficiaries than last year, compared to 41,538 less for the whole of Belgium).
“Less than 40% of people who lost their insertion benefits get the integration allowance, in both Wallonia and Brussels”, says the IDD. It’s even less in Flanders. There are two main characteristics for these people that lost their insertion benefit: they are mainly women (except in Flanders) and people of working age. The number of people on RIS in both categories has increased compared to the beginning of 2014. It has also been noticed that the percentage of 25-44 year olds on RIS has increased by 1.7% in Brussels and 3% in Brussels, compared to last year.
The increase in the number of RIS beneficiaries comes at a time when “the CPAS’ back to work policies are failing in all three regions”. This makes the Institute run by Philippe Defeyt, also Ecolo President for CPAS Namur, worry that people “who have lost their insertion benefit have less chance of finding a job”, the press release says.
Jason Bennett (Source: Belga)