Little if any progress made in the fight against poverty

The umbrella organisation Decade Goals 2017 that groups together a number of associations that work on social issues and the fight against poverty says that Flemish and Federal Government initiatives designed to combat poverty have done little to reduce the number of people living in poverty.

Currently over 600,000 Flemings are living in poverty, this is just 30,000 fewer than 10 years ago.

Decade Goals 2017 looked at Flemish and Federal poverty policies since 2007. The organisation used 10 poverty indicators that measure goals in six fields: living conditions, health, education, income work and social integration.

None of the 10 indicators showed any improvement on 2007 when the 6 goals were first set.

The results are all the more surprising given that general wealth levels and the total fortune of all those living in Belgian have both gone up over the past decade.

Decade Goals 2017 says that there is a growing tendency of policy makers to blame those in poverty for being poor. The organisation writes in its report that rather than instead of halving the number of people poverty the number has in fact only fallen by around 5%.

However the number of children living in poverty has in fact gone up from 7% in 2008 to 12% in 2015. The problem is made worse by a shortage of social housing meaning that people on low incomes are forced to rent in the private sector where they pay more.

Poverty creates a vicious circle with children living in poverty less likely to do well at and get the qualifications required to get a good job.