Economic official sees no ‘real poverty’ in Germany

Economic official sees no 'real poverty' in Germany
Photo: DPA
The parliamentary state secretary for the Economy Ministry, Hartmut Schauerte, has said he sees no real poverty in Germany, and there is no need to increase spending for social benefits.

“If we understand poverty as a real emergency in which a person fears for their means of subsistence, then there are very few examples of this in Germany and virtually no poverty,” Schauerte told Berlin daily Tagesspiegel on Thursday.

Social benefits and unemployment compensation insure that those without earned income can maintain their existence, he said.

The member of Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) urged citizens not to lose sight of “life realities” in the increasingly heated debate over poverty in the country.

“The majority of Germans are doing well,” Schauerte said, adding there is no need to increase government funding for welfare.

“Almost €700 billion of the money we set aside for social purposes don’t achieve their aim,” he said. “Increasing the amount we spend would be moving in the wrong direction.”