Decline in government social programmes
Nature: The persistence into the 1980s of low growth and high unemployment, compounded by the aging populations, has obliged both poor and relatively prosperous countries to make cuts in welfare systems.
Incidence: By 1990, Germany pensioners were required to make a 5% contribution to what had been free medical insurance; indexation changes brought pensions down 5 to 6% in real income compared to 1979. Unemployment benefits had also been cut for workers without children - from 68% to 63% of total salary in the first year, and from 58% to 56% in subsequent years. In the UK, health spending fell for the elderly, the handicapped and the mentally ill. Housing benefits and free hot school meals, except those for the poorest, were also being trimmed. The government of France was been forced into an austerity programme that meant new private contributions to social security and restrictions on unemployment benefits. The budget for the costly state hospital system had been reduced.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET