The Chamber of Employees (CSL) on 7 June published its so-called Panorama Social, an annual analysis of how households in Luxembourg are doing, their risk of poverty and related issues, such as the cost of living.
More than 25% of people in Luxembourg struggle to make ends meet, the report said. While 16.2% said they experience only some difficulties, 8.6% said they experience difficulties and 3.8% said the challenges are significant.
Since 2003, the number of households reporting trouble to make ends meet has risen 42%. The number of people requiring help from a social grocery store, which sells products at reduced prices, peaked during the pandemic in 2020, reaching 10,322 individuals. The amount dropped slightly last year, to 10,196.
Charitable organisations distributed €841,245 in food aid last year, down from more than €1m in 2020.
More than a third of single-parent households (35.3%) meanwhile are at risk of poverty, the chamber said. The rate was even high for families with three or more children (39.6%). However, the data does not distinguish between the number of children of single-parents and how this impacts their poverty risk.
The poverty threshold in 2020 was defined as a monthly budget of €1,892 or less for a single adult and €2,838 for a couple without children. For a single parent with one child, the reference budget was €2,460 and for a couple with two children, €3,973.
Social benefits help limit the impact of the overall risk of poverty. Without any benefits, the rate of people at risk would rise to 47.4%, the Chamber of Employees said.
One of the biggest problems is the high cost of housing in the grand duchy. Low-income earners spend as much as two-thirds of their monthly budget on housing, the chamber said. This amount is below one third for people who are well off.
Looking at rent only, poorer households spend nearly 40% on their rent, compared to a quarter of the monthly budget of household not at risk of poverty.
Having a job meanwhile doesn’t protect people from poverty, the chamber said. Just over 10% of people working full-time and more than 16% of people part-time are at risk of falling below the poverty line, the CSL said.
Despite having lower salaries than in Luxembourg, this rate is lower in the greater region countries.