In Belgium nearly one in four children is at risk of falling below the poverty line according to Eurostat figures from 2018.
A new research paper indicates that investing a euro in the fight against child poverty brings, in the long term, between five and nine euros to the government in increased tax revenue and savings on cost of health care, unemployment benefits, and costs attributed to crime.
Investing in disadvantaged children and young people increases their career prospects, reduces the risk of unemployment and benefits the overall society, according to the new study carried out by researchers from Vlerick Business School in Belgium.
“If the 531,000 children and young people [currently living in poverty in Belgium] remain in a difficult situation in adulthood, this means that we are heading towards a loss of 74 billion eurow in tax revenue for the State in the long term,” the authors of the study say.
“The coronavirus crisis is putting additional pressure on the current situation of children from vulnerable families,” says Christiaan Hoorne, CEO of Pelicano Foundation, a Belgian NGO which works to fight child poverty.
“This report shows that it is socially but also economically necessary to invest in the fight against child poverty. We hope that the government will soon take concrete and structural measures to fight against the precariousness of children.”