Over 10 per cent of Austrians categorised as poor

More than one in 10 Austrians are poor or threatened by poverty, according to a study by Eurostat.The European Commission’s (EC) statistics agency announced yesterday (Mon) that 12.4 per cent of people living in Austria earned less than 60 per cent of the national median income of 912 Euros a month for a one-person household. Eurostat said in March of last year 12 per cent of Austria’s population were poor or threatened by poverty.The body said yesterday the European Union (EU) average was 17 per cent. This study result means 81 million people are poor or at risk of becoming impoverished. The Czech Republic and Slovakia did best in the survey with a share of nine per cent, while Romania (23 per cent) and Latvia (26 per cent) came in last.Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) Vice President Sabine Oberhauser said earlier this year that around 10 per cent of employed Austrians could not make ends meet with what they earned.Oberhauser announced studies have shown that the number of so-called “working poor” living in Austria rose from 256,000 in the year 2000 to 350,000 this year. She pointed out that the majority of working poor in Austria were women left with no other option than accepting poorly paid jobs.The ÖGB vice president called for an increase of the general minimum wage in Austria to 1,300 Euros before tax.Meanwhile, the number of people living on the streets of federal capital Vienna is expected to rise.Caritas Vienna chief Michael Landau said he expected more homeless people than ever before to be seeking help this winter. Landau explained 2,600 homeless people got in touch with Caritas workers at the organisation’s institutions in the city in 2009, up by 400 year on year.