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The project

In Europe, Belgium and Flanders the offical poverty line is set to '60% of the standard median income' in the EU summit of Laken. This indicator however needs refinement and additional information. It doesn't measure poverty, but a certain aspect of income inequality, it measures how many people are in the 'bottom end' of the income scale. Because the level (why 60% and not 55% or 65%?) and the used equivalents (the poverty line for couples is more than 50% higher then the one for singles and childer cost 30% more) are random, the poverty group can't be put on the same level as the group of people that can't participate in a minimal societal manner because of their income that is too low. The budget method offers better possibilities to determin which income people need to participate fully in today's society. It reveals immediately which standard it allows to have. Second, it is a concrete and flexibel instrument that can easily be adjusted for families in very specific circumstances.

A few years ago, the Centre for Social Policy already published budget norms where the authors formed the conclusion that : 'the minimal protection isn't enough to be able to participate in Flemish society in a manner that is compatible with human dignity.

Our approach differs from previously made studies due to the fact that every product has been taken into consideration starting from the universal needs it needs to fulfill. By using this approach, we not only develop coherent minimum budgets, but we will most likely succeed to present these with more conviction compared to the budget standards developped in the past.


K.H.Kempen Vlaamse overheid CSB ULG