A roof over the head of every homeless person, a basic income for young people in debt, compensation for higher energy bills and raising minimum wage to 14 euros are some of the most ambitious goals set out in the party’s plan.
In Groningen, 1 in 8 children grows up in poverty and 17 percent of all adults in Groningen live on a minimum income. “Poverty is a lack of money, but it often means a lot more to people, like social exclusion and not being able to participate,” explains PvdA (Partij van de Arbeid; Labour) Alderperson for Work and Education, Carine Bloemhoff.
Minimum wage of 14 euros, 500 basis jobs
According to reporting by the GIC, the party set out concrete measures that focus on both the financial and social aspects of poverty: livelihood security through sufficient income and ensuring that everyone can participate as much as possible. For example, the PvdA wants to set the minimum wage at 14 euros (as of 2022, the minimum wage for people over 21is €11.06).
The party also wants to eventually create 500 basis jobs in the entire labor market region of Groningen. Basis jobs are positions at businesses which are meant for people who have recently become unemployed and cannot find work elsewhere, with the goal of helping them transition away from welfare to an income. “As far as the PvdA is concerned, work remains the most important tool in the fight against poverty,” said Bloemhoff.
The PvdA also advocates for an energy poverty fund to help people with little money make their homes more sustainable. Another important point for the party is that everyone has a house. In line with a successful Scandinavian concept, the PvdA wants to be the first to provide housing to all homeless people in Groningen with ‘Housing First’.
Pilot income for youth
The party also wants to start a pilot in which young people who are in debt or homeless receive an unconditional income to rebuild their lives.
Many local political parties are sharing their plans for the city in the lead up to elections in March. In January, GroenLinks called for the removal of parking garages in the city center of Groningen.