The project phase “analysis of trends in the area of basic income security in Europe” should provide additional input for a proposal on the rearrangement of demand-oriented monetary transfers in South Tyrol. Up to date, a standardisation of basic income models in the EU-28 was hardly reached. Although there are overlaps in some countries (e.g., most basic income benefits are linked with activation measures), significant differences can be observed.
Pieter Vanhuysse offered an empirical comparative overview of recent experience in Western Europe regarding minimum income benefit policies – in 16 countries of most immediate comparative interest for South Tyrol: the original EU-15 Member States plus Switzerland. He analysed minimum income benefit data separately for three sociological beneficiary type cases – single persons, lone parents with two children, and two-parent families with two children.
Michael Fuchs analysed reforms in Austria where the new minimum income benefit (“Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung”) replaced the former social assistance in 2010/11.The new benefit represents an important step towards combating poverty as it introduced a relativeley uniform minimum standard in all federal states, speeded up the administrative process and reduced regress options related to relatives and the obligation to pay back benefits received once an employment is taken up. However, the federal states still have large room for manoeuvre, e.g. related to housing allowances. Furthermore, the new benefit aims for a more intensive activation towards the labour market. However, the question remains whether an improvement of the indidvidual employability is of use given that many clients are not placeable in the labour market due to lacking demand. On the administrative side, the increase of clients in working age who receive both unemployment benefits and minimum income benefit leads to double responsibilities in times of scarce ressources. The minimum income benefit and accompanying measures are still far away from the guiding principle of assistance by one source.