Monday, August 25, 2014

More poverty in the cities –

More poverty in the cities –


 For a change of fiscal equalization advocates the Institute of the German Economy. No more East Germany as a whole, but disadvantaged cities in East and West should continue to benefit from the promotion. The demand this time not local Social Democrats, but the employer near Institute of the German Economy (IW) in Cologne. The researchers argue on the basis of a recent study on poverty in East-West comparison: According to the discrimination has declined in large parts of eastern Germany now – in West German cities are not.

The IW has for the first time included the purchasing power in the calculation of poverty. Thus, it is closer to the reality of life of the people than the usual poverty statistics, which only measures how many people have less than 60 percent of the median income available. How many such people can buy with the money in their city, according to IW is crucial for the relative poverty concept anyway.

Although incomes are in the five eastern German states, mostly among the West German. But have prices about rents and consumer goods an even greater distance, the citizens in the east could sometimes do more than in the West, so the IW. Thus is due to the negative peak Cologne with a share of purchasing power of poor citizens 26.4 percent, probably due to the enormous rents in the cathedral city.

is very high, the number of poor people in Dortmund ( 25.5 percent), Duisburg (24.1 percent), Gelsenkirchen (23.5 percent) and other Ruhr cities. In the rural counties in the Lower Rhine and in Südwestfalen contrast, far fewer people whose income is not sufficient in relation to the local prices live. This is about the Hochsauerlandkreis only 11.6 percent of the population, in the district of Wesel on 13 percent.

The fact that the purchasing power bill of the IW the standard poverty statistics strong whirls, illustrate the poverty lines in euros and cents: In wealthy Baden-Württemberg a Single regarded as “kaufkraftarm” when he has available less than 908 Euros per month. With this sum he would be in Saxony-Anhalt, where wages, but also the prices are well below western levels, well above the poverty line of 812 euros. In North Rhine-Westphalia, he needs more than 875 euros a month, so as not to be considered as poor.

This infers IW CEO Michael Huether the recommendation, “refocus regional aid to be urban problems just.” A focus should be doing the Ruhr area, so Huether. But the so-called “small Ruhrgebiete” with “not bewältigtem structural change”, about Bremen, Lübeck, Kaiserslautern or Offenbach, needed more help.

In his study, the IW provides material for the ongoing debate on fiscal equalization between the Länder. The rich Bavaria and Hesse have complained, however, because they want poorer countries to transfer less money. 2019 also runs from the former East German Solidarity Pact in favor of countries. Among other things the NRW state government will then benefit from a newly negotiated financial compensation. NRW was to be relieved by around three billion euros, Finance Minister Norbert Walter-Borjans (SPD) recently.

                 Hannes Koch


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