The anticipated recommendation regarding the minimum income scheme in Europe that the European Commission is expected to unveil on Wednesday is not enough to tackle the social crisis. More is needed to help Europeans in times of social crisis stemming from the skyrocketing costs of living, highlighted the S&Ds.
Pedro Marques MEP, S&D vice-president responsible for social Europe, said:
“Social justice in Europe has always been our first priority and ever since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine we have repeatedly called for a bold and determined action to shield Europeans against the social and economic impact of the war.
“An ambitious minimum income scheme in Europe is an indispensable part of this action, together with a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy, enhanced SURE* instrument designed in the pandemic to protect workers and jobs, as well as a strengthened and permanent Recovery and Resilience Fund.”
Agnes Jongerius MEP, S&D spokesperson on employment, said:
“After we succeeded to anchor an adequate minimum wage in the European law, we need to remain ambitious also with the minimum income**. The recommendation has no teeth. It will not help Europeans who are struggling to pay their bills. We need a binding European minimum income scheme and we need it now.
“This is what our citizens demand when asked what they expect from Europe. They want decent wages and working conditions, a minimum income, stronger rights for children and youth, reinforced social dialogue and collective bargaining, affordable housing, day-care, and gender equality.”
Note to editors:
*The European instrument for temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency.
**Minimum income schemes provide financial and/or material support to individuals and families in need. Therefore, they are an important social policy instrument to fight poverty. They are often described as the last resort of social protection. Usually, the support is linked to certain criteria, such as citizenship or a means test. Minimum income schemes should not be confused with minimum wages for workers or a general basic income for all citizens.