In a report voted today in the European Parliament, the Socialists and Democrats succeeded in including a call on the Commission to introduce national minimum-income schemes, as well as funding possibilities for member states to set up such schemes.

S&D MEP Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, shadow rapporteur on the report said:

“Poverty and social exclusion are at alarming levels, with one in four Europeans at risk of poverty. In the aftermath of the economic crisis the situation is even worse today than ten years ago. I am disappointed that the conservatives and liberals continue to close their eyes to the detrimental effects austerity policies have on poverty and social exclusion in Europe. If we want to stand any chance of meeting our own commitments to lift 20 million people out of poverty within ten years, we must act now and we must act decisively.

“I am proud that the Socialists and Democrats managed to ensure there is a call for national minimum-income schemes in the text voted today, as well as funding possibilities for member states. We want everyone with an insufficient income to have decent living conditions, in addition to guaranteed access to quality services and active labour-market policies.”

S&D spokesperson on employment Jutta Steinbruck MEP added:

“Minimum-income schemes are necessary to guarantee a decent life for people with insufficient incomes. Today, 120 million European citizens are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. We call on the European Commission to put forward a proposal for a framework directive on minimum-income schemes and to put social rights at the centre of all their actions.”

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