Risk of poverty reduces in Luxembourg
(CS) In 2011, around 13.5 percent of the Luxembourg population were at risk of poverty, down from 14.5 percent in 2010.
According to figures released by statistics office Statec, some 67,500 people had to live off of 1,627 euros or less per month last year. Around 6,000 people are considered to be living in precarious circumstances. This number is twice as high as in 2010.
The report also found that just over 43 percent of the population would be considered at risk of poverty without social benefit payments.
Meanwhile, 24.2 percent of households indicated that they were having difficulties to make ends meet, a 5 percent increase from the pre-crisis year 2008. Statec researcher Paul Zahlen commented at the presentation of the numbers that the effects of the crisis were being felt in Luxembourg, even though this was not necessarily reflected in the poverty rate.
Additionally, the number of households benefitting from a basic income guarantee has also increased, from just 1,683 in 2008 to 9,449 last year.
Over the same period of time, the money paid in basic income increased from just over 109 million euros to 136.4 million euros.
At the same time over-indebted households have risen in number. The organisations Inter-Actions and the Ligue médico-sociale said that over 780 people sought advise after finding themselves over-indebted.
While this number is a big increase in comparison to 486 people in 2002, the organisations estimate that this is only the tip of the iceberg, as they have no way of checking how many bills or loans have been left unpaid with banks, phone providers or other companies in Luxembourg.
Interesting to note that every second person who consulted the two support groups was employed and received a steady income.
Despite these sobering figures, Statec found that the gap between rich and poor had not widened over the past year.
Reporting by Joëlle Merges