NRW elections 2022: Essen single parents slip into poverty – ‘It can’t go on like this’
Many single parents feel like they are about to die NRW Election 2022 I gave up on politics.
Catherine, 41, from Essen believes there is a lack of financial support, flexible care and advice. Single parent hopes that the result NRW Election 2022 Something is changing – it cannot continue like this for them.
NRW Election 2022: Single Parent and Work – But There’s Still a Shortage of Money Everywhere
It’s been a few years since Catherine F. (Name changed by Editor) Her life after a stroke. Six weeks of rehab followed paralysis of the right side of her body.
Today she is a single mother to her five-year-old son. The trained nurse works in the healthcare sector and is also self-employed. Her salary: 1400 euros. “I can’t live on 1,400 euros,” says Catherine. She bought a used car over three years ago and is still paying off the loan.
Number of single parents:
- About 2.6 million single parents live in Germany (Source: Federal Statistical Office 2018)
- About 400,000 fathers . are affected
- Every year 300,000 people become single parents (Source: VAMV NRW)
- There are 566,000 single parents in NRW
The 41-year-old is on sick leave, and a stroke is to blame. Even sick, the mother from Essen recently had to take care of her son with coronavirus.
She’s finally out now that the money from her self-employment is gone, too. You cannot bear insurance costs in case of absence due to illness. “I can’t pay for insurance if there’s no money,” Catherine says. Already on the second day of the month 1500 euros will be in the red.
NRW elections 2022: Single parents at particular risk of poverty
A car, an apartment, food – in theory, their salaries are just enough to cover basic costs. “I already have a certain standard of living,” Catherine says. She lives with her son in a three-room apartment of 60 square meters. As a single parent, it is difficult to find an apartment. Her apartment is the only one she has now – and the cheapest at the time.
The 41-year-old is still not receiving housing benefits. Her apartment is either too big or too expensive for that. “Anyone a little over the price is not entitled to the money,” says the mother from Essen. She is not a big earner, quite the opposite. In 2019, the poverty line for a single parent with one child was €1,396.
The Association of Single Parents (VAMV) knows the risks of poverty for single parents: “The way things are, single parents can’t keep up,” says Nicola Strup, VAMV NRW board member. “Single parents are more at risk of poverty. They and their children have to live in the most deprived.”
The association therefore calls for more flexibility in the care of children by politicians. “In Essen, by showing ‘Sun, Moon and Stars,’ we show how successful complementary childcare is in liberating families from the threat of poverty,” says Nicola Strup. “We expect politicians to implement this successful concept nationwide after elections.”
NRW Election 2022: Clear demands from single parents
Catherine also likes to have more flexible nursing times – especially in the afternoons, evenings and during holidays. “If the costs of care are too high, debt comes up quickly,” she says. So she thinks higher income limits for financial aid are a good idea.
For single parents who are self-employed, she would also like more support in the event of illness — “a kind of loss of income,” she explains.
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And for a while, the mother from Essen was supported by the VAMV NRW and the Youth Welfare Office. But help is limited in time, “help cannot be taken forever,” the Youth Welfare Office said. Catherine understands this, but the condition of single parents does not change as a result.
Here the Association of Single Mothers and Fathers provides an overview of all meetings with politicians, events for single fathers, and an analysis of election programs.