MEPs have called to raise national minimum income schemes in EU countries and improve their inclusivity and accessibility in order to deal with the current cost of living crisis.
The Committee for Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) adopted on Tuesday a motion for a resolution noting that a European Directive on Adequate Minimum Income would help to further enhance the accessibility, adequacy and enabling aspects of minimum income schemes to promote upward social convergence.
The text was adopted with 27 votes in favour, 8 against and 9 abstentions.
EU countries should gradually increase their minimum income schemes for people lacking sufficient resources to a level that is adequate and at least equivalent to the national at-risk-of-poverty threshold as part of a broader anti-poverty strategy and incentives to promote the labour market re-integration of those who can work.
MEPs also want to ensure that minimum income schemes are made available to anyone who may be in need and that disadvantaged social groups, such as homeless people, are not prevented access to the scheme by bureaucratic obstacles such as proof of address, bank account or a lack of digital skills and resources.
On 28 September 2022, the European Commission proposed a Council Recommendation on adequate minimum income ensuring active inclusion setting out how Member States can modernise their minimum income schemes to make them more effective and to reduce poverty and social exclusion in the EU.
In November, the EMPL committee agreed on a set of oral questions to be asked to the Council and the Commission on how proposals to update national minimum income schemes will improve job market inclusivity in EU countries.
The draft text should be added to the Plenary agenda in February.