Poor researcher warns: Traffic light scheme allows women to fall into the trap

Guest article: Poverty researcher warns: Traffic light scheme allows women to fall into the trap

Wednesday 05/18/2022 06:00

The Corona epidemic has had a serious impact on the daily lives of many citizens. Poverty researcher Botwervig describes the number of people who called on the state at this time, and who earlier wanted to “skinny” it. He believes: We must develop the social security state into a comprehensive welfare state.

During the first Corona lockdown, it became clear that despite high living and social standards and contrary to all assertions that the Federal Republic is a classless society that enjoys the safe prosperity of its members, a large part of the population cannot be. Without their undiminished wealth for a few weeks regular income.

Suddenly, many people themselves were demanding the state, who previously wanted to “shrink it” and preferred the market as a regulatory mechanism. However, conclusions were drawn from this only insofar as the state opened large-scale “bailout packages” for companies and only gave financial assistance to individual groups of people. However, the urgently needed measures of top-down redistribution have not been achieved, although the very rich have become richer during the Covid-19 pandemic, while the poor have become more numerous.

Further expansion of the welfare state is necessary

In the exceptional case of a pandemic, health, social and education services have proven to be “systemically relevant”. Without the transfer payments from the welfare state – just to mention the benefits of short-term work – far more people would have been brought to the brink of collapse during a recession caused by supply chain disruptions and shortages of some primary products.

It was also true that it was temporarily made easier to receive unemployment benefit II for the self-employed who have been hit by the Corona crisis by suspending strict asset testing and implicitly assuming that the apartment was suitable. Why shouldn’t this regulation be a permanent solution rather than a model for further steps to reduce welfare state bureaucracy and simplify the application process for basic security for job seekers?

About the guest author

Mr. Dr. Christoph Patrug is a political scientist and poverty researcher who taught political science at the University of Cologne from 1998 to 2016. On May 18, 2022 his book “Pandemic Polarization. Germany After Corona” in Beltz Juventa.

Instead of distributing the same amount of money to all citizens with an unconditional basic income, as some observers have demanded, Bismarck’s SocialinsuranceTo destroy the state with it, one must take this to a included development of the welfare state. If the social security system is to remain effective despite the upheavals in working life and changing lifestyles, there is a need for far-reaching reforms which should aim at securing citizen based on solidarity.

Christophe Batrugge’s book (advertisement)

Polarization pandemic: Germany after Corona

The self-employed, cultural workers, artists, and the self-employed were not only among those most affected by the pandemic and its economic turmoil, but also among the most vulnerable, which the current welfare state has hardly been able to protect. Therefore, they should be included as soon as possible in the solidarity insurance of citizens or employees.

Because of the traffic light scheme, many women are likely to fall into the poverty trap

Young pensioners and students who did not earn their usual BAföG rate and do not receive (or cannot) parent support often lost part-time jobs – for example in culinary arts – which had previously been their livelihood due to closures, business closures and guarantee closures. Since they could not apply for short-term work or unemployment benefit 1 or 2, there was a shortage of money and some students dropped out as a result.

From this, it must be concluded that small jobs must be converted into labor relations subject to social security contributions. Unfortunately, the opposite will happen on October 1, 2022: SPD, Greens and the FDP decide to raise the wage limit for part-time marginal workers from 450 to 520 euros. It is feared that more women will fall into this poverty trap in the future.

People who fall into all the nets of the current social security system must not end up in homelessness, over-indebtedness, bankruptcy, and other existential difficulties. It will be necessary to focus the state’s resources on the basis of needs on the people who need support so that they can live and live in dignity.

This applies to precarious workers, temporary workers, the marginal workforce, as well as the self-employed, some self-employed and small business owners who do not have enough financial reserves to survive the economic drought. In addition to evictions and forced evictions, rent increases will also have to be suspended for a transitional period.

Accommodation for the homeless in hotels and boarding houses in winter

The homeless can be housed in empty hotels and guesthouses in winter. Otherwise, this group of people is threatened with further poverty. If the inexpensive supply from food banks and charities fails below the standard requirements of Hartz IV, social assistance and basic insurance in old age, and in the case of properly determined and substantially reduced earning capacity, a temporary nutritional supplement is granted for will be at least About €100 per month plus standard requirements is essential. In the event that rent cannot be paid due to loss of income or lack of warrants, the emergency component of the housing benefit will be the correct course of action.

Nurses, geriatric nurses and nursing assistants, who receive particularly low salaries, were considered “daily heroes” at the height of the Covid-19 epidemic, without any investigation into why their salaries, working conditions and social status had fallen over the past few years by decades that had lagged behind the general development.

Otherwise, the focus could have been on the processes of economic development, the negative effects of which have not yet been noticed by the public: German and foreign financial investors are taking over more and more hospitals as well as retirement homes and nursing homes because they generate high returns due to the mass aging of our society in change demographic promise. Since personnel costs are more important in the healthcare sector than in other sectors, the operators of these facilities are trying to cut salaries and reduce staff, which leads to an intensification of work and an increase in dissatisfaction among employees.

Systemic discrepancies must be reconciled

In order for all people to have the same educational opportunities, regardless of their social background, systemic disparities must be compensated as much as possible in day care centers and schools. This requires reform of the school structure, better equipment in educational institutions, smaller groups/classes with excellently trained teachers and specialists and regular additional training of staff. Hiring more social workers and psychologists in schools can reduce the social harms of children from financially weak homes. It is too late to expand individual support, advice and support nationwide.

In addition to education and school policy, the Children and Youth Policy is required to mitigate the long-term effects of the crisis more effectively and to provide vulnerable groups such as minors and their families with more support and compensation. Otherwise, the younger generation, torn in many respects, has so little future as the society in which they live, which is drifting out of sight. The country can only hope to maintain its enormous economic strength and level of population prosperity in the long term if it succeeds in healing the wounds inflicted on families, children and youth by the Corona crisis and if we create more social and economic factors. equality.

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