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Germany

Majority of Germans willing to pay more taxes to fight child poverty

Two thirds of Germans are willing to pay more taxes to support children in poverty, according to a recent survey. Some 2.8 million children and adolescents are affected by poverty across the country.

A survey by the German Children's Fund (Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk) released Tuesday, has revealed that 66 percent of Germans would be willing to pay more taxes for a comprehensive change in policy to combat child poverty.

The Children's Fund estimates that about 2.8 million children and adolescents up to 18 years of age are currently affected by poverty.

The survey, carried out by the opinion research institute Infratest dimap on behalf of the Children's Fund, questioned 1,008 German voters. A large majority of respondents said they support free all-day care for children who come from especially low-income families and more social workers at daycare centers and schools. Many respondents to the survey said low wages and single parent households are to blame for child poverty.

Furthermore, 72percent of Germans believe that current policies do little to counter child poverty effectively.

German Children's Fund president Thomas Krüger said, "These figures make it clear that there is no room for interpretation that the German people believe the state and society has a clear duty to resolutely fight child poverty in Germany more than ever.”

Broken down by political party affiliation, 87 percent of Greens and 73 percent of Social Democrat (SPD) voters would be in favor of paying more taxes to fight child poverty. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and sister party Christian Social Union (CSU) were on board as well with 67 percent in favor. The Left party polled the least support, however still in the majority, with 60 percent in favor.

In the survey, almost all participants asked said especially low-income families and their children should receive free teaching aids (97 percent) and that they should be provided free food at school and day care (86 percent).

The survey also revealed that Germans think underprivileged children should also receive free participation opportunities in education, culture and sports (81 percent).

hc/dr (dpa, epd)