Italy: government cuts social welfare
169,000 households in Italy have been informed via SMS that starting August 1 they will no longer receive the citizen’s income introduced four years ago. The reason is the stricter requirements for receiving the minimum social security passed by the right-wing government under Giorgia Meloni. Protests have broken out particularly in Naples, where a significant number of people rely on the citizen’s income.
And what if there is a shortage of work?
Whoever is theoretically ‘employable’ loses the right to minimum security. However, there is a gap between theory and practice that the government ignores, La Repubblica complains:
“It should have been primarily examined whether there is an actual and adequately paid demand for labor concerning ‘employability’. If this had been done, it might have been recognized that the connection between theoretical ‘employability’ and actual (dignified) employment is often not automatic, especially for those who share the characteristics of many basic income recipients: very low qualifications, significant distance from the job market, and inhabiting areas with low labor demands.”
Right-wing populists disrespect those in need
The Süddeutsche Zeitung explains why right-wing populists like to target the most vulnerable in society, despite the fact that they try to come across as socially minded:
“Quite simply, they lack basic respect for people in general. This pattern can be observed in other countries as well, particularly in Germany with the AfD. Unpopular beneficiaries of the welfare state — such as migrants and asylum seekers — are rhetorically portrayed as alleged freeloaders and, if they have the power to do so, punished. The narrative suggests that those who cannot find work apparently do not want to and must pay the price. This is applauded even by those who may soon find themselves in need of help — which is bizarre.”