The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has criticized Germany for not doing enough to prevent a growing number of people from sliding into poverty. It called for a speedy action plan.
The organization of the world's leading 34 industrialized nations pointed out in its latest biannual report on Tuesday that Germany's recent economic upswing had failed to reach the weakest in society.
"The relative poverty risk and pronounced income inequality have remained unchanged over the past couple of years," the reports said. The report also pointed out that it had become harder for low-paid workers to move up.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria called on the government to prepare reforms quickly to rectify the current situation. "Germany must act now," he told reporters in Berlin.
The report praised Germany for having one of the lowest jobless rates among OECD member countries. But it warned that a rapidly growing low-wage sector and a high proportion of temp workers were unacceptable for Europe's economic powerhouse.
OECD experts noted that a minimum wage, as planned by the government, might help to ease the situation, but added that it should be introduced without any major loopholes for the long-term unemployed and young people.
The report also demanded that additional incentives be created for people who have been out of work for a long time, enabling them to return to the labor market.
Affordable childcare also needed to be expanded across the nation, the report urged, adding that would go a long way towards helping women secure full-time jobs. The survey showed only 62 percent of working-age women in Germany were working full-time, with the OECD average currently standing at 74 percent.
hg/ng (AFP, Reuters)