Household incomes rise in Europe's North, decline in South
Wednesday, 09 January 2013

The absence of tangible recovery has put under pressure household incomes in the majority of EU member-states and increased the risks of long-term exclusion, the European Commission has said.


Real gross household disposable income declined between 2009 and 2011 in two-thirds of EU countries for which data is available, with the largest drops recorded in Greece (17%), Spain (8%), Cyprus (7%) and Estonia and Ireland (5%).


This evolution is in stark contrast with the situation observed in the Nordic countries, Germany, Poland and France where welfare systems and more resilient labour markets have allowed overall incomes to continue increasing during the crisis. The continuing crisis is however increasing the risks of long-term exclusion everywhere.


To prevent rising poverty and long-term exclusion from becoming entrenched, policies need to be tailored to specific country situations and population groups most at risk.

In early 2013 the Commission will issue a Social Investment Package with guidance to the Member States for putting in place adequate, sustainable and effective social policies that strengthen human capital and social cohesion in the face of increasing pressure on private and public resources to tackle these challenges.


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