We can meet the EU anti-poverty target by ensuring that the rich pay tax
GUE/NGL MEPs have welcomed a European Parliament report on meeting the anti-poverty target in light of rising household costs, adding that initiatives to meet the target can be funded by ensuring that the rich pay tax.
Our group welcomed the report's call for energy efficiency projects targeted to low-income households, a minimum income framework and a moratorium on heating disconnections in winter.
Irish MEP, Lynn Boylan, stated: "Family homes are being repossessed while rental tenants are being pushed across the poverty threshold because of skyrocketting rents. I welcome the report's acknowledgement that housing is a fundamental right, and the call for the expansion of the supply of quality social housing."
Boylan highlighted that there are many Europeans living in poverty who are not unemployed, but people with jobs. To combat poverty, she added that "we need to deal with the issue of decent living wages."
Greek MEP, Kostadinka Kuneva, explained that in Southern Europe, "people are often cold because energy is so expensive and they don't have enough money to pay gas and electricity bills. The problem of energy precariousness is due to poverty."
Spanish MEP, Tania González Peñas, added: "We must ensure that vulnerable households have access to electricity, gas and water, and that they have a minimum income which is sufficient to cover the needs of their families."
"When it comes to funding this, I remind you that tax evasion and fraud in the European Union amounts to billions of euros. Citizens are making enormous sacrifices while at the same time the elite are allowed to channel their money through dubious tax havens."
Spanish MEP, Paloma López Bermejo, also stated that "millions of Europeans are poor – people who are unemployed, precarious workers, pensioners, young people and women. The majority of working people live with worry and fear because they cannot make ends meet."
Calling for further action, she added that "We demand the right to a decent life, to employment, decent wages and collective bargaining. These are fundamental to guarantee housing, food and jobs."
"We also need a system of minimum income. The Commission must develop a mimimum income directive as called for by the Economic and Social Committee and other stakeholders that are fighting against poverty," she concluded.
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 483 03 55 75
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20