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Austria: diocesan Caritas agencies against cuts to welfare. “Humanly questionable, socially dangerous and economically unreasonable”

Today, the nine directors of the diocesan Caritas agencies have taken position in a joint press release against “the gradual rolling back of the welfare state” inbuilt in the “money-saving measures” announced by the Austrian government. Such cuts “might endanger social peace in our country”, Caritas warns as it calls on the federal government “not to further increase pressure on those who are already hit hardest by poverty today”. Such cuts “are humanly questionable, socially dangerous and economically unreasonable”, says the release, which predicts “a rise in poverty among children and old people” in Austria. What is most “worrying is news of the repeal of emergency aids and a decrease in the minimum income”. Caritas asks instead to increase the 250 euros’ bonus for single-parent or single-income households or for families who live on a minimum income or on the dole. “Funds for the education” of older or long-term unemployed people or young people should not be cut down. Funds for refugees’ social-inclusion policies (language courses, qualifications …) should not be cut down either: they would prevent “people taking care of themselves and their families and making a contribution to society”. Caritas “suspects” that “social inclusion issues might hide the attempt to justify an even stricter asylum policy”, which would not be “either socially or economically viable”.

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Quotidiano - Italiano