Poverty begins to bite in Germany | Fin24
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Poverty begins to bite in Germany

Oct 28 2014 19:02
Leopold Scholtz
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

germany  |  poverty  |  eurozone crisis  |  europe economy


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