1.3 million “at risk”: just how bad Austria really is

According to a new “social report”, one in six is ​​considered to be “at risk of poverty”. However, other key figures paint a less bleak picture – which is why the social affairs minister was satisfied.

This is the hundred-page survey of the country's social situation presented by Social Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) on Tuesday evening – and one of the main statements of the “Social Report 2024” is very impressive: “In total, 1,555,000 people live in… “Austria – 17.5 of the population in private households. percent – identified as being at risk of poverty or exclusion,” it says. “14.8 percent of the population” is considered “at risk of poverty”.

The point is: the risk of poverty is relative. The definition is based on the average income of the respective country and has nothing to do with specific living conditions. This means: according to the official imagination, less than 60 percent of what everyone has is at risk of poverty – regardless of how poor or rich the entire country is. In Austria, if you earn less than 1,392 euros per month, the poverty threshold is reached in 2022. For a family of two adults and two children, the net monthly income was €3,000.

“No Famine”

There has been criticism of this definition, for example from the chairman of the Finance Committee. The relative representation gives the impression of a “large number”, which “gives to some extent the impression that there is a general famine in Austria”, said Christoph Badelt at Ö1. “But that's not right.” People talk about common people and then ignore the “real victims of poverty” when concrete measures are taken.

See also  Prevent vitamin D deficiency with the following foods

According to the community report, there are likely to be significantly fewer people. The Social Report also provides a category for “significant material and social disadvantage”. In concrete terms, this means that you cannot buy a list of things that are generally taken for granted. For example, the ability to pay unexpected expenses of 1,300 euros, to go on vacation once a year, to properly heat the apartment, to go to the cinema – or simply a car. Anyone who can't afford at least seven of these 13 things is at a “significant” disadvantage. It affects about 200,000 people in the country, which is more than two percent.

Among people at risk of poverty, at least two-thirds are able to take at least one week of vacation a year. Ten percent say they can't pay rent and operating expenses on time. All this affects a large number of children: according to the report, a quarter of those at risk of poverty and exclusion are under 18. And: “36,000 children and young people are exposed to significant material and social disadvantage,” the report says. According to the study, five percent of children from families at risk of poverty cannot participate in paid school activities, and eight percent are not allowed to invite friends to play or eat for financial reasons.

Rauch again supported reform of basic child protection and social assistance, but he was largely content with statistics. The situation of people at risk of poverty is “largely stable” despite the corona and inflation crisis. Millions in aid have had an effect; Even fewer people are affected by poverty than before the crises.

Read more about these topics:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *