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      Suspend consideration of partner income at the Unemployment Assistance!

      Active Unemployed Austria start a on-line campaign to protect the insurance benefi

      (Wien/Graz, 28.1.2015) From the reply of the minister for social affairs to two written enquiries of the speaker for social affairs of the green party Judith Schwentner to the subject of consideration of partner income it is evident that in the year 2013 an average of 12,346 people received no money at all because of the consideration of partner income – women were specially hard hit with 82% (10,324 people) – and that 11,324 people hat to accept deductions (women 54%). Women lost in average 318 Euro per month, men 293 Euro.

      Those living in a partnership pay fully into the unemployment insurance, however have the risk of receiving less or nothing at all after the unemployment benefit is exhausted: Approx. 10% of men, however 28% of women have to accept reductions or whole suspension of benefits. This also constitutes discrimination against women.

      Gigantic effort with sniffing action up to the bedroom!

      For the comparatively little “saving” the AMS has to pursue a disproportionate effort: The AMS does not only have to carry out complicated computations for allowances etc., but has to ascertain continuously the partner’s income.

      The question whether or not a life and financial partnership exists does not only lead to humiliating sniffing actions of AMS employees in homes of affected people and compromising inquiries of neighbours or caretakers. This could amount to grave interference into the human right of privacy. The affected people do not normally know about their rights. They are not informed that they act according to the law if they refuse entry to their home if the “visit” is not announced. Even in the case of divorce the ex-partners living now separately are sometimes severely harassed by the AMS.

      The Unemployment Assistance is an insurance benefit, not alms!

      The Constitutional Court has ruled several times that the Unemployment Assistance is an insurance benefit and not a social benefit. The Constitutional Court described the Unemployment Assistance as a “right of a productive character”, which constitutes the human right protection of the property. The AMS is only allowed to withdraw the Unemployment Assistance through an official decision.

      A look into the annual report of the AMS invalidates the myth that recipients of Unemployment Assistance rely on the taxpayers’ bourse: In the year 2013 the AMS has received 5.61 billion Euros from insurance contributions and paid 4.84 billion Euros to insurance benefits (of which 1.18 billion Euros for the Unemployment Assistance). Further contributions from taxpayers’ money are for “active labour market policies” with to some extent useless and humiliating compulsory measures and tax gifts for companies.

      Remove punishments of partnerships and families!

      It cannot be that people are de facto expropriated even though they have fully contributed to the insurance only because they live in a marriage or partnership. It is an irony of history that exactly the ÖVP, who always portraits itself as the family party, is always against the abolition of this anti-family harassment and more and more people come to the conclusion not to risk raising kids.

      Due to the continuing uneven distribution of income, approx. 80% of the people loosing the benefit due to the consideration of partner income are women. The spouse of a business man or millionaire, who would wrongfully obtain Unemployment Assistance, is a commonly cited myth that is statistically negligible. Unemployment Assistance is limited to 872.31 Euros p.m. to 1,017 Euros p.m. without family benefits. Men obtained in the year 2013 in average 670 Euros p.m. Unemployment Assistance, Women only 624 Euros p.m.

      Online petition and action platform for the insurance rights of people living in partnerships.

      Now and then an isolated single activity – moreover without inclusion of the organizations of the affected people and other organizations – will not be sufficient to overcome this old plague. The association „Active Unemployed Austria“ starts an on-line petition and calls for all socially engaged people and organizations to found an action platform for the protection of the insurance benefit Emergence Help.

      Online Petition

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