In 10 Years the Population of Bulgaria has Decreased by 590,000 people
In 10 years the population of Bulgaria has decreased by 590,000 people. The number of poor pensioners has increased by 128,000 people, and the number of poor children - by more than 17,000, said Deputy Minister of Social Affairs Ivan Krastev at an online discussion on income, organized by the Solidarity Society and Friedrich Ebert foundations.
According to Krastev, the country does not have an adequate policy for social protection of the most vulnerable - pensioners and children. For 10 years - from 2010 to 2020, the monthly allowances for raising a child have increased by only BGN 5, says Krastev, quoted by BNR.
1.6 million Bulgarians are below the poverty line, and nearly half a million people or 29% of the employed are on the minimum wage.
The discussion was focused on income policy, because the main expectations of Bulgarian citizens from EU membership were and are related to raising living standards. 14 years later these expectations are not realized, the participants in it state. Bulgaria ranks high in the Union in terms of poverty, low income and risk of social exclusion.
Does Bulgaria have an income policy?
Bulgaria is among the 55 countries with a "higher average income" and is compared at two levels - regionally, within Southeast Europe, and at the macro level, within the EU. Bulgaria lags significantly behind most countries, which is due to a number of specifics: low redistribution rate, high inequalities, low adequacy of social payments and others. The data from the presented comparative study show that the number of employees on the minimum wage has more than doubled, covering 15% of all employees.
The minimum wage
A minimum wage exists in all EU Member States and is seen as an element of poverty reduction policy. Thus, the aim is to achieve social protection, conditions for retaining staff in the labor market, macroeconomic stability, meeting the minimum living needs, etc.
Its size in Bulgaria remains the lowest for the EU and in 2020 it is 46.86% of the national average. Significant inconsistencies vis-à-vis EU countries persist. Bulgaria ranks first in terms of inequality, and wage levels are four or even five times lower.
The discussion was attended by Mr. Jacques Paparo - Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation for Bulgaria, Mr. Georgi Pirinski - Chairman of the Solidarity Society Foundation, Mr. Ivan Krastev - Deputy. Minister at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Ms. Nadia Klisurska - Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Assoc. Prof. Irina Danailova - Head of Human Resources and Social Protection at UNWE, Dr. Alexander Dimitrov - Head of Political Science at UNWE and Ms. Mirena Filipova - Political Analyst and Barricade journalist; moderator of the discussion - Dr. Pencho Hubchev, program coordinator at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
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