Publication
Title
Combating in-work poverty in continental Europe : an investigation using the Belgian case
Author
Abstract
Recent studies find in-work poverty to be a pan-European phenomenon. Yet in-work poverty has come to the fore as a policy issue only recently in most continental European countries. Policies implemented in the United States and the United Kingdom, most notably in-work benefit schemes, are much discussed. This article argues that if it comes to preventing and alleviating poverty among workers, both the policy options and constraints facing Continental European policymakers are fundamentally different from those facing Anglo-Saxon policymakers. Consequently, policies that work in one setting cannot be simply emulated elsewhere. We present microsimulation derived results for Belgium to illustrate some of these points. Policy options discussed and simulated include: higher minimum wages, reductions in employee social security contributions, tax relief for low-paid workers and the implementation of a stylised version of the British Working Tax Credit. The latter measure has the strongest impact on in-work poverty, but in settings where wages are compressed, as in Belgium, a severe trade-off between coverage and budgetary cost presents itself. The article concludes that looking beyond targeted measures to universal benefits and support for employment of carers may be important components of an overall policy package to tackle in-work poverty.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Journal of social policy. - Cambridge, 1972, currens
Publication
Cambridge : 2012
ISSN
0047-2794 [print]
1469-7823 [online]
Volume/pages
41:1(2012), p. 19-41
ISI
000299882200002
Full text (Publishers DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Law 
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 29.03.2011
Last edited 08.04.2017
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