Private detectives to check on benefit claimants?

Zuhal Demir (Flemish nationalist), the former Belgian secretary of state for equal opportunities, is proposing that local social services enlist the help of private companies to check on people on guaranteed minimum income benefit (called the living wage in Belgium) with property abroad.

The measure would require a change in the law with regard to professional confidentiality.

Earlier Antwerp social services enlisted the help of a private company to check on people on guaranteed minimum income benefit with property abroad.  The move was criticised and one government minister even threatened to take the matter to court.

Ms Demir is a supporter of such checks and believes it’s unacceptable that people with property abroad receive guaranteed minimum income benefit.  She points to the waiting lists for social housing and says people with property abroad shouldn’t qualify.

The former Belgian secretary of state backs a change in the law with regard to professional confidentiality.  She believes that the idea will receive sufficient support for it to be included in the government accord after the 26 May general election as most parties say they back the idea of checks.