Benefits not at poverty threshold “A further promise not kept, with the weakest in society suffering”
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    Benefits not at poverty threshold “A further promise not kept, with the weakest in society suffering”

    © Belga
    Eric Massin and Ahmed Laaouej are angry about the Michel government's attitude to benefits, in particular regarding some claimants in Belgium still living below the European poverty threshold.
    © Belga

    “Another promise not kept by the Michel government. Moreover, once again, society’s weakest will suffer.” This was the reaction on Sunday on Twitter by the head of the Socialist Party in the federal parliament, Ahmed Laaouej, to the announcement by the Secretary of State for Poverty Reduction, Zuhal Demir. She said that the revaluation of the lowest benefit levels would not enable those falling into this category to exceed the European poverty threshold. This is despite the original commitment set out in the government’s agreement in 2014.

    The deputy, Eric Massin, says, “The announcement by Zuhal Démir is a mixture of cynicism and powerlessness.” He stresses that having “imposed on the weakest inflationary increases, taxes on electricity, cuts to health care and job instability, the Michel government is saying that it will not rectify that which it has damaged.”

    He considers that reducing inequalities is “clearly not the priority for a government blinded by its policy of austerity and “every man for himself.” For the Socialist deputy, “a more efficient fight against tax fraud would largely enable the struggle against poverty to be properly financed and thus resolved.”

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times