Politicians don't do enough to reduce poverty in Flanders, organisations say

More than 500,000 people in Flanders live with an income below the poverty line and another 500,000 are at risk of falling into poverty. These are the results of the annual poverty barometer of Decenniumdoelen, a group of organisations fighting poverty.

Recently there have been some positive signs regarding poverty in Belgium. The latest figures from Statbel show that the risk of poverty in Belgium has fallen to its lowest level since 2004. And a report published this week by Statistics Flanders showed that the poverty gap in Flanders is declining.

But politicians are not doing enough, president Anne Van Lancker told VRT NWS on Thursday. "We are not there yet. One million people in Flanders who are poor or on the verge of poverty, that's too many," Van Lancker told VRT.

"One million people in Flanders who are poor or on the verge of poverty, that's too many"

That is why Decenniumdoelen has drawn up a list of 12 measures that the next government should take to improve the situation. The poverty organisations suggest, for example, that child benefit should be increased in line with the Belgian inflation rate and that the social energy rate should be extended.

"Those who want to pursue a policy committed to the eradication of poverty must dare to make bold decisions in various policy areas," Van Lancker said.


#FlandersNewsService | Social housing apartments in Antwerp. © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

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