Ensure an Adequate Minimum Income for all!

EAPN website

United Kingdom

Ensure an Adequate Minimum Income for all!

Across the UK, people will be making the difficult choice between eating and heating, worrying about their rent, dreading the next knock on their door, wondering how to make each pound go the extra mile. Across the European Union, millions of people face the same unbearable choices.

The increasing stigmatisation of welfare recipients as lazy and the labelling of social benefits as passive hand-outs only worsens the situation for the 79 million people in the EU facing poverty. Keeping down the level of welfare benefits does nothing to help people move back into work, and only serves to further exclude them from society. Providing adequate welfare benefits is the key way to changing this reality and to building a solid foundation for participation in society, where all can have access to a dignified life. In the context of increasing financial turmoil and economic insecurities, more and more families will need to rely on the benefits system as their only protection against poverty. It is essential that our benefits system is one that genuinely lifts people out of poverty.

We the undersigned express our concern at the current inadequacy of social protection systems in Europe. We declare our support for the 2008 European Commission “Recommendation on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market” to “recognise the individuals’ basic right to resources and social assistance sufficient to lead a life that is compatible with human dignity”. We call for decisive action by the UK Government to implement this Recommendation.

2009 sees the election of a new European Parliament and the appointment of a new European Commission, while 2010 will be the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion - NOW is the time for a new vision and a commitment to Adequate Minimum Income Schemes for a life in dignity!

Not everyone has access to a dignified life.