The EU should give more priority to in-work poverty issues – Alfred Sant

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The EU needs to decisively change its approach to reverse the growing trend of poverty and an economy based on low-grade jobs that is weakening the quality of life of its citizens, Labour MEP Alfred Sant told the European Parliament.

In a statement after voting in favour of a report on reducing inequalities with a special focus on in-work poverty, Alfred Sant insisted it is essential that an EU-level structured debate on this sector take place.

EU policy-making has been for too long side-lining poverty issues, effectively providing them with only a secondary focus in major proposals, if at all.

In the meantime, the EU is facing a second major economic crisis in a very short period. This is resulting in the growth of inequalities and poverty, worsened by a high level of precarious and low-quality jobs.

Furthermore, the emergence of work undertaken via online platforms is worsening the situation for many entering the labour market.

Alfred Sant added that the austerity approach featured in major EU policy-making for the last two decades did not help either. “At this point, the report’s proposals aimed at reducing in-work poverty, especially through stronger collective bargaining systems and adequate minimum income and pensions are highly commendable”, stated Alfred Sant.

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