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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

We must vote for a framework on minimum income, says Green MEP

Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, has called on her fellow Euro politicians to adopt a non-legislative report [1] detailing plans for an EU framework directive on minimum income when it is voted on tomorrow.

Speaking after a debate on poverty eradication today, Jean, a member of the Employment and Social Affairs committee, said:

“Ten years on from an EU commitment to tackling poverty, there has been no real progress, with 84 million people or 17% of the EU population still at risk of poverty [2]. It is high time European politicians translated their rhetoric on tackling poverty into action. The Green group [3] believes that a framework directive on minimum income would be a crucial step to tackling poverty in Europe and welcome that the European Parliament is poised to support this call.

“The current blinkered focus on short-term austerity measures risks creating more serious economic and social problems in the long-term. Making the poor pay for a crisis they did not create through brutal cuts will only push greater numbers into poverty and that will benefit no-one. We have a duty to meet the basic human rights of all citizens, such as food, water and shelter, and this legal obligation can not and should not be ignored.  People have the right to live in dignity

“Poverty eradication must remain a key priority and this means focusing on active inclusion policies by promoting adequate income, an active labour market and quality public services.”

Notes to Editors

[1] The report ‘on the role of minimum income in combating poverty and promoting an inclusive society in Europe’ was produced for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs by the rapporteur Ilda Figueiredo. The vote will take place on Wednesday 19 October.

To read the report in full visit: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A7-2010-0233&language=EN

[2] 2010 has been designated the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion

[3] The Greens/European Free Alliance is a European parliamentary group made up of Green MEPs and representatives of stateless nations and disadvantaged minorities. The group strives to make Europe the global leader in terms of environmental protection, peace and social justice, fair globalisation, and in the fight for human rights. The group is the fourth largest group in the EU parliament with 55 MEPs.