An report that pushes for action!

Thursday 8 October 2020

On Thursday 8 October, Caritas Luxembourg presented the results of the five months of operation of the helpline that Caritas Luxembourg had set up to respond to calls for help from people and families during the period of confinement, as well as the feedback from the experience of the different services of Caritas Luxembourg during the sanitary crisis.

Figures

As you can imagine, there were many calls for help. From 7 April to 31 August - the period during which it operated - the Caritas Corona-Helpline processed 445 requests. 860 people, including 308 children, were helped, either through information, referral to other organisations or punctual financial aid. Altogether, Caritas Luxembourg gave 267,348.53 euros in punctual financial aid. This aid was made possible thanks to the support of many donors, to whom Caritas Luxembourg would like to express its sincere thanks.

Among the people who received aid there were many young people: 26.6% were under 30 years old and 32% between 31 and 40 years old. 39% of the applicants with children were single parents. Of the people who gave information about their employment, 19.2% worked in the restaurant sector, 13.8% as self-employed/freelancers and 9% in the cleaning sector. 67% of the applications came from people or families who, before the crisis, were still making ends meet.

Actions to be undertaken

In order to prevent those people who have appealed to the Caritas Corona-Helpline during the period of confinement, but also all those who will only be affected by the economic consequences of the health crisis in a few weeks, months or years, from falling permanently into poverty, Caritas Luxembourg calls for action and asks the government for increased efforts in the fight against poverty and inequality.

A socially just way out of the health and economic crisis is urgent. For that it is important:

  • to eliminate the many existing fiscal inequalities: Salaries are taxed at 100%, capital income at 50% (or even less in the case of "stock options") and real estate income partly at 25% (or even not at all in the case of Specialised Investment Funds (SIFs).    
  • to reintroduce wealth tax    
  • to reduce income tax in the lower bands of the scale and increase it in the upper bands respectively add additional bands at the top of the scale   
  • to permanently adjust the "allocation de vie chère" (after a one-off doubling already carried out for 2020)   
  • to adapt family allowances to changes in prices and wages (as promised since 2015), starting now and not only at the end of the legislative period   
  • to immediately increase tax relief for single parent households   
  • to eliminate the three-month "stage" requirement for access to optional health insurance   
  • to increase the REVIS taking into account the reference budgets calculated by STATEC   
  • to grant during a state of crisis the right of access to social assistance also to people without an address but living on Luxembourg territory.

The experience of Caritas Corona-Helpline and the teams in the field also shows the importance of:

  • an unconditional support to people who have lost their jobs due to the crisis   
  • strengthening the fight against the exploitation of people   
  • access to protective institutions and medical care for all people in Luxembourg, including homeless people and those without a residence permit   
  • to find quick solutions for affordable rental housing.

Finally, Caritas Luxembourg also asks that this crisis should not be used as a pretext either to reduce the amount of official development aid or to delay the implementation of measures against climate change. People in developing countries are heavily affected both by the health crisis and by the consequences of climate change. They also need solidarity to survive.

Find all the demands of Caritas Luxembourg for a better care of people and families in precarious situations in times of crisis and beyond in the position paper below!

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The evaluation of Caritas Corona-Helpline and the experience of the teams on the ground are rich in lessons learned. If we don't want people and families to fall permanently into precariousness, measures need to be taken quickly! Please find all our proposals for action in the link below!

Read the position document