Social workers protest against budget cuts

The SAM, an umbrella organisation for social workers and social organisations, has staged a protest at the offices of the Flemish Welfare Minister Wouter Beke (Christian democrat). Fresh cuts would mean that 1 in 3 jobs are threatened. 

Mr Beke has announced cuts worth 1 million euros at the SAM (Steunpunt Mens en Samenleving). The amount equals 27 percent of the total budget at SAM, and 15 employees would have to go, which is about 1 in 3, trades unions estimate. All employees are active in the social sector, helping the poor and the vulnerable in society. SAM said "we are curious to find out what the Flemish government is still expecting from us." 

This afternoon, Mr Beke defended his approach. His said that "cuts have to be made in various sectors" and that for each euro that was taken in other sectors, just half a euro was taken from social work. He adds that after these cuts, other initiatives will be possible.