Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Across the country, events are being held to highlight the issue. 1 in 5 Belgians is facing the risk of ending up in poverty, or of social exclusion as a result: the figure was at 20.8 percent in 2008, and at 19.8 percent last year. However, this 1 percent is within the error margin.
In absolute figures, 2.25 million Belgians are living in poverty, a small increase compared to 10 years ago. The aim for 2020 was to reduce the figure to 1.81 million Belgians.
Caroline Van der Hoeven of the Belgian Network for the Fight against Poverty is calling on policy makers to increase minimum wages. "The governments have made different promises, but when we look at the figures we can only draw the conclusion that nothing has really changed. The poverty threshold is around 1,100 euros, which has also been internationally recognised. We want people's incomes to be increased to at least this amount."