Poverty begins to bite in Germany

Poverty begins to bite in Germany

2014-10-28 19:02

The Hague - Almost a sixth of the German population is living below the poverty line, according to the country’s Federal Statistics Bureau.

The bureau on Monday reported on its website that about 13 million people, or 16.1% of the population, earns less than 60% of the average earning of the entire population. This is the guideline set out by the European Union (EU) to establish whether a person may be classified as living below the poverty line.

In 2013 this limit lay at €979 (about R13 700) per month. For a family of two parents with two children, it was €2 056 (about R28 900) per month.

Women and the aged were more vulnerable, according to the bureau. Also the unemployed above 18 years (a full 69.3%) were the victims of poverty. Only 8.6% of those with jobs lived below the poverty line.

In addition, the Munich-based daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that 1.64 million German inhabitants below 15 years – 15.7% – had to survive on state grants. According to the Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund, or German Trade Union Federation, children from poor families have a markedly lower chance of succeeding financially as adults and often do not have the chance to receive proper vocational training.

Germany is one of the richest countries in the world, which makes these figures remarkable. However, the German economy has received some setbacks of late. The economic growth forecast for 2014 has been slashed to 1.2% because of a shrinkage of 0.2% in the second quarter of the year as well as a 6% slump in exports.

It is feared the country is heading for a renewed recession which, it is thought, will impact disproportionally on the poor.

 - Fin24

  • Suzelle Fourie - 2014-10-28 19:33

    Just goes to show how worthless our SA rand is: R2 8900 seems like a lot of money to me, but translated back into €2 056, it doesn't seem all that much any more!

      Suzelle Fourie - 2014-10-28 19:35

      Apologies, it should read R28 900.

      Kagiso Booi - 2014-10-29 04:43

      Go to Germany and see what you can do with €2 056. You can say the rand is useless but believe you me one is better off earning R28k in SA than the equivalent in Germany. Imagine 1 bedroom Apartment rent on average is €606.91 per month, while a 3 bedroom Apartment will cost more than €1.2k. In SA you can easily afford a decent house earning R28k per month not in Berlin whereby apartments goes on sale for about €4k per square meter. Consider what you can do with the "useless" rand vs the "useful" €. China is almost the world's economic giant but look at it's currency, Cyprus had the world's strongest currency but they literally ran out of cash!

      CyberDog Breath - 2014-12-03 02:33

      @Kagiso Booi: Wow, you really are talking complete rubbish. Germany is very large, there are many cities, towns and areas in Germany, exactly like South Africa. Rent and cost of living varies greatly depending on the area. Some places are very economical to live in. In general, food prices in Europe are much lower than in South Africa. One of the contributing factors are that you do not pay tax on core groceries. Also the cost of a lot of the other necessities are a lot cheaper than in South africa. Cyprus did not "run out of money". The banks bought Massive shares in Greek bonds which became worthless. It was through corruption and thievery, much like South African Government, Cyprus has an incredibly small economy (The whole Island is smaller than the size of west Rand in Johannesburg) which is why it was effected so badly. Also this happened long after it had switched over to the Euro, so whether the CYP Pound was strong previously or not is completely irrelevant. China deliberately keep their currency low as they are manufacturers and this is beneficial to them. You obviously have never been out of South Africa yet, you also know absolutely nothing about economics. Poverty in South Africa and what is perceived as poverty in Europe are worlds apart. Poverty in South Africa is a death sentence.

  • Matome Lucky - 2014-10-28 20:10

    Are there black people residing or domiciled there?

      Jade Koen - 2014-10-28 22:14

      thats a stupid question, is black synonymous to poor?

  • Craig King - 2014-10-29 06:57

    The cost of energy is forcing business out of Germany. BASF is expanding in the USA as are several other big energy users. The transition to renewables has impacted everyone with high costs. Add to that the rapid influx of immigrants looking for work which has displaced lower paid Germans and it is no surprise things aren't looking too rosy.

  • arthur.salvado - 2014-10-30 10:56

    Sanctions on Russia playing a part ???

  • CyberDog Breath - 2014-12-03 02:18

    What a complete load off crap. " children from poor families have a markedly lower chance of succeeding financially as adults and often do not have the chance to receive proper vocational training." That is simply not true. Almost all universities in Germany offer courses and degrees for free to German speaking citizens.

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