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News Code: 976


Many Germans live on social assistance

Our correspondent in Berlin says about 330,000 people are also homeless in the country.

Cansel Kiziltepe, a Social Democratic Party (SPD) lawmaker, told us, “I want the government to bear the expenses for existence of a social culture for homeless, for child poverty, wage poverty, and elderly poverty. All these should be covered by the government.”

Wolfgang Strengmann from the Green Party, also says the current financial crisis has led to a serious social crisis in Germany.

“The coalition between the poor and the middle class is against the richest people in the society because at least in Germany it is the middle-class who is mostly paying for social security while the upper class pays less for it,” Strengmann said.

One out of every three children in the German capital, Berlin, lives on government assistance. The elderly are also affected by poverty since the pensions are not enough to provide for a decent standard of living.

There are currently around 5,000 homeless people in Berlin. Experts predict that by 2015, the number would rise by 15 percent due to gentrification caused by rent increase.

Germany is praised for having a low number of unemployment. However, only 1.2 percent of those who receive social assistance already have a job. The government has implemented a minimum wage of 8.5 euros per hour in an attempt to address the issue of joblessness.

Latest figures by Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) show that the number of impoverished Germans is steadily increasing in the country. According to the statistics, 16.1 percent of the German population or approximately 13 million people run the risk of plunging into relative poverty.

source: ABNA