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What income do families need for social participation? Belgian reference budgets for social inclusion Bérénice Storms
Reference budget as guideline which enable the full participation in society of all citizens Social participation (adequately playing different roles) Health Autonomy: • nutricious food • security in childhood protective housing appropriate health care and personal care suitable clothing rest and leisure significant primary relationships mobility security
Reference budgets developed by experts and citizens • Role of experts: • Translating needs into concrete goods and services • Starting as much as possible from a normative (≠ prescriptive!) point of view • If legal norms fit to social reality … • Transparency!
Reference budgets developed by experts and citizens • Role of citizens: • Help experts to translate needs into concrete goods and services • Ensure acceptability • Method: • No survey: mixture of needs and wants • Focus groups are better than interviews: because of interaction effects
Reference budgets developed by experts and citizens • Composition of focus groups: • Homogenous for: • Income position (income around European poverty threshold) • Household composition (couples with little children) • Living circumstances (healthy, not working, …)
Research stages - Stage 1: Flemish reference budgets, financed by University High school K. H. Kempen(2007 -2009) Reference budgets developed abroad Additional expertise: Experts: 9 Focus groups Literature review - Delphi study translating of needs into concrete goods and services (quantity, quality, life spam) - comment baskets - additional analyses + Secondary data analysis Pricing Case study Total Budgets for 17 family types (not working, renting in private housing, in good health) Group interview with low income families Final Fremish reference budgets for 17 family types anno 2008, (not working, renting in private housing, in good health) Adaption by experts Individual interviews with families around poverty line
Research stages - Stage 2: Belgian reference budgets, financed by Belgian government(2007 -2009) Experts: Additional expertise: -Working adults (2) Translating of needs into concrete goods and services (quantity, quality, life spam) - comment baskets -Students (14) Flemish Reference budgets Focus groups with: -Elderly people (3) Literature review + - additional analyses Interview with lone parent families (5) – Pricing case study sick persons (12) Belgian reference budgets for 24 family types, living in different socioeconomic circumstances anno 2010 Price indexation by category Experts Consulting experts: -additional analyses Translating of needs into concrete goods and services (quantity, quality, life spam) for a decent life in Wallonia and Brussels + Pricing Focusgroups (7) wilth low income families in Wallonia and Brussels
Reference budgets: challenges for the future • • • How should the focus groups best be organised? How to integrate life time events, e. g. save money to leave home ? How should the cost of important life time changes (living alone, getting unemployed, become a pensioner) be covered?
Valorisation of Belgian reference budgets Reference budgets can be used for: 1. Determining additional income support, settling income maintenance, debt rescheduling; 2. Financial education/debt prevention; 3. Measuring poverty; 4. Encouraging politicians to work towards a socially inclusive society.
1. Determining additional income support, debt rescheduling: development of a practical tool
2. Financial education/debt prevention
3. Measuring poverty Social rent Private rent House owner with morrtgage House owner, no mortgage EU-SILC
4. Encouraging politicians to work towards a socially inclusive society • reference budgets not only reveal what level of income is needed; they also imply a commitment to social cohesion and social inclusion
. Encouraging politicians to work towards a socially inclusive society If a car is needed: + 292€ Education costs non regulated Education costs regulated Housing costs: + 50% !