Coronavirus – Caritas calls for new measures to fight poverty

Faced with the significant increase in precariousness due to the health crisis, the organization Caritas Switzerland is asking for help from the Confederation and the cantons.

The association helps more than 100,000 people.

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Caritas Switzerland is alarmed at the worsening poverty due to the coronavirus. To cope with this, it calls for the introduction of direct payments or even an increase in the partial unemployment benefit.

The aid already committed by Caritas Switzerland may not be enough if the crisis continues, the organization worries Monday in a statement. Before the pandemic, 660,000 people in Switzerland were affected by poverty, a situation now worsened by the coronavirus crisis.

“In response to this increase in poverty, Caritas launched the largest aid operation in its history for the population living in Switzerland,” the statement said. To date, the total aid committed by Caritas amounts to 12.2 million francs, including 9.7 million from the Chaîne du Bonheur. It helps more than 100,000 people.

But Caritas is worried that these funds will not be enough if the crisis continues. This is why it asks the Confederation and the cantons to introduce direct payments based on the model of supplementary benefits. She would also like the allowance in the event of a reduction in working hours (partial unemployment) to be increased to 100% of the salary for people in a precarious situation.

Reduce expenses for health insurance

Caritas is also calling for funds for reducing health insurance premiums to increase by at least 50% over the next two years. The work of mutual aid suggests the establishment of a model of differentiated reduction of premiums. This would allow cantons to set binding targets for the maximum share of the household budget allocated to health insurance premium payments.

To help undocumented migrants, the aid organization is also asking that social assistance benefits be decoupled from residence permits. “All people living and working in Switzerland who find themselves in financial distress should benefit from state aid,” writes Caritas.

ATS / NXP

Posted today at 11:04 am

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