POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Petitions focus on housing & covid



The public has turned to petitions in a bid to slow the spiralling cost of rented accommodation in Luxembourg Shutterstock

The public has turned to petitions in a bid to slow the spiralling cost of rented accommodation in Luxembourg Shutterstock

Housing costs and covid-19 dominated the latest batch of petitions to go live in Luxembourg.

After figures recently showed that six out of ten of the lowest earning households spend more than 40% of their disposable income on rent, the public is pushing for change with two new petitions.

Petition 1655 wants rents to be lowered so that people on low incomes can afford housing. Petition 1664, meanwhile, wants residential rents to be deducted from the earnings they are taxed on based on the argument that rent paid is not disposable income.

As the pandemic enters its fifth month, covid-19 remains a preoccupation. The author of petition 1658 calls for the introduction of do-it-yourself rapid covid-19 testing kits. They cite the time and cost related to the current national PCR tests and the flexibility for residents to test themselves more frequently, although currently the free voluntary testing scheme recommends being tested every two weeks. The author of petition 1660 wants more public testing data to be made more transparent to allow people to better follow the pandemic’s evolution.

And petition 1661 wants the holiday accommodation voucher conditions to be reviewed. Currently, the €50 vouchers issued to every person living and or working in Luxembourg aged over 16 can only be used by the person named. The petitioner wants vouchers to be pooled among family and friends for a single stay in a hotel.

And, in a change of topic, petition 1657 wants the new national football and rugby stadium to have a Luxembourg name or to be named after a Luxembourg personality.

Anyone may sign a petition, provided they are aged 15 or over and have a social security card in Luxembourg.

If the petitions garner 4,500 signatures or more before they are closed for signing, Luxembourg MPs will debate the subject in parliament.