Hartz IV welfare benefits considered too low

Hartz IV welfare benefits considered too low
Photo: DPA
A solid majority of Germans believe welfare benefits are too low in their country, according to a survey published on Wednesday.

A poll by weekly magazine Stern found 61 percent considered the German dole known as Hartz IV too meagre at €359 a month per person. Only 30 percent said the amount was appropriate, and four percent considered it too high.

People living on Hartz IV also have their rent and other expenses covered.

Almost three quarters (73 percent) of those surveyed said the needs of children on welfare were equal to or higher than those of an adult. The German Constitutional Court is expected to decide next week whether benefits for children should continue to be scaled according to their age, as is the current practice.

An overwhelming 90 percent of poll participants said Hartz IV should also cover costs such as school field trips for children. Another 74 percent said welfare should pay for sports equipment and club fees. Seventy percent said it should include a monthly visit to the cinema, zoo or museum. But only 49 percent said kids on the dole should have access to music instruments and lessons.

Stern surveyed 1,000 people between January 5-7 throughout Germany.

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