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One in six independents earns below poverty line
Last year in Belgium, 111,523 full-time self-employed persons earned less than €12,500 per year, while the European poverty standard for a single independent is €13,020 per year, writes Het Nieuwsblad based on a study by the Neutral Syndicate for the Self-Employed (NSZ).
The NSZ's research is based on data from the National Institute for Social Insurance for the Self-Employed. "With nearly 705,000 full-time independents active in Belgium last year, that means 15.8% earned below the poverty line, or one in six," said Christine Mattheeuws of the NSZ.
Dyzo, the non-profit organisation for independents in financial difficulty, reports a doubling of requests for help over the last three years, from 1,237 in 2012 to 2,482 last year. According to MEP Robert Bothuyne, the numbers show that Dyzo is a useful partner for the self-employed. However, its cooperation with cities and municipalities urgently needs improving, he says.