Guaranteed minimum income beneficiaries

In 2017, a monthly average of 140,149 persons benefited from a guaranteed minimum income in Belgium. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must decrease.

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Guaranteed minimum income beneficiaries - Belgium

average monthly number

thousand persons

 2003200520102012201320142015201620172017//20032017//2012
Belgium74.176.395.695.899.1102.8116.2127.2140.24.77.9
//: Average Growth Rates

PPS Social Integration (2018), Bulletin Statistique Numéro 21 - Juillet 2018, p. 10.

Guaranteed minimum income: average amount per year by category - Belgium

thousands of euros

 2003200520102012201320142015201620172017//20032017//2012
1: person living together4.74.95.86.36.56.56.66.97.02.92.3
2: single person or homeless (with integration contract)7.17.48.89.49.79.89.910.310.62.92.3
3: person with dependent family9.49.911.712.612.913.113.213.714.12.92.3
//: Average Growth Rates

Calculations FPB based on PPS Social Integration (2018), Montants (équivalent) RI de 2005 à aujourd'hui, https://www.mi-is.be/fr/outils-cpas/montants (consulted on 02/10/2018).

Definition: since 1 October 2002, the guaranteed minimum income has become part of the right to social integration (the former 'subsistence minimum'). The guaranteed minimum income is the last social safety net that can provide a minimum income, allowing people with insufficient means of subsistence to lead a decent life. This income can be granted to persons without (substitute) income or whose (substitute) income is lower than the integration income, and who cannot claim another income on the basis of Belgian or foreign legislation , who usually and permanently reside in Belgium in a legal manner and who, unless their health or their specific situation does not allow it, are willing to work. From 1 December 2016, foreigners with subsidiary protection fall within the scope of the legislation in relation to the right to social integration. Persons aged under 25 must sign a contract for a personal project developed for social integration purposes. From 1 December 2016, people aged 25 or over who want to apply for a guaranteed minimum income must also sign such a contract. The age condition is set at 18 years but minors who are emancipated by marriage, who have at least one dependent child or who are pregnant may also benefit from it under the same conditions. Based on an analysis of the applicant's means of subsistence, a full or partial integration income is granted.

The Public Centre for Social Welfare of each municipality examines, within the framework of the legislation in relation to the right to social integration, the applicant's means of subsistence and determines the most appropriate assistance in consultation with the applicant. This may consist in employment, full or partial integration income, an individualised social integration project or a combination of these instruments. The indicator is expressed in thousands of persons and the data are drawn from the Federal Public Planning Service Social Integration.

Goal: the number of guaranteed minimum income beneficiaries must decrease.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 1.3: “Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable”.

The federal government agreement of October 2014 stipulated the following with respect to social support: “The government will gradually raise minimum social security benefits and social assistance to the European poverty line. In this respect, priority will be given to allowances for people at the highest risk of poverty. The social benefits associated with certain social security allowances will be taken into account in the comparison with the European poverty standard (Federal Government, 2014). It is assumed that this objective will have an influence on the evolution of the risk of poverty, for which it is stated that it must decrease in order to move towards the objectives.

There are 3 categories of guaranteed minimum income beneficiaries, each with a specific amount, which will be allocated in full or in part depending on the means test carried out by the Public Centre for Social Welfare. These categories are a cohabiting person (category 1), a single person or a homeless person with whom an integration contract has been concluded (category 2) and a person with a dependent family, namely a spouse or partner, an unmarried minor child or several children including at least one unmarried minor child (category 3).

Between 2003 and 2017, the amounts of the guaranteed minimum income by category on an annual basis increased for category 1 from 4724 euros to 7041 euros. For category 3, the amounts correspond exactly to the double of the above amounts. The amount of the guaranteed minimum income on an annual basis for category 2 increased from 7086 euros in 2003 to 10562 euros in 2017.

International comparison: there are no harmonised data at EU level on this type of social assistance allowance.

UN indicator: the selected indicator corresponds to indicator 1.3.1- Proportion of population covered by social protection floors/systems, by sex, distinguishing children, unemployed persons, older persons, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, newborns, work-injury victims and the poor and the vulnerable.

Sources

  • SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.

  • Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.

  • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).

  • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).

More information is available in FR (French) and NL (Dutch).