Safety net or sieve : do Europe's minimum income schemes reach the poor?
Today, nearly all EU Member States have a national Minimum Income Scheme (MIS) providing a social safety net to their citizens. This study explores MIS coverage among people of working age that find themselves to be at risk of poverty in the EU. We show that the share of poor individuals effectively covered by means-tested income support varies a lot, with coverage ranging from under 5 per cent of the pre-transfer poor population to upwards of 60 per cent. While one would assume that MIS coverage rates are largely determined by the reach and adequacy of social insurance arrangements, that picture is not as simple. MIS receipt rates are generally lower in countries with high social insurance coverage, but the picture is quite fuzzy. In fact, large swathes of the needy are uncovered by either scheme. The share of pre-transfer poor individuals who are left uncovered by both social insurance and social assistance ranges from less than 20 per cent to over 80 per cent. A large share of social assistance recipients experiences what one could call new social risks, specifically: inactivity, low-education, and in-work poverty. We also find higher rates of receipt among the disabled, and, to a lesser extent, among single parents. Yet patterns are not very consistent, pointing to manifold national idiosyncrasies in coverage mechanisms.
Source (series)
CSB working paper ; 24/02
Antwerp : Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp , 2024
36 p.
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Creation 18.03.2024
Last edited 19.03.2024
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