Charity Caritas have warned that the number of people living in poverty in Upper Austria is on the increase. Currently 70,000 people are recorded as living in such poor conditions with even more people now seeking help over the Christmas period.
Caritas is an international Roman Catholic relief charity that works to help the poor and the oppressed. The psychological pressure on people living in poverty, the charity argue, huge and as such the counselling centres of Caritas and the Samaritans are attempting to help with the daily stresses and strains.
Around 6,900 people from Upper Austria were helped this year in the offices of the charity Caritas, the majority of whom could no longer afford to pay their rent or cover electricity and heating costs. Once these expenses are paid off, a typical family who comes to Caritas has to live on 10 per cent less money than last year.
“When you take away the living costs, an average of six or seven Euros is left per person per day to pay for everything, such as food, clothes, transport and school,” said Caritas Director Mathias Mühlberger.
Those who come to the charity also fear the future regardless of whether they have potential employment or not. One person described it as, “my poor, clumsy life” because they failed to act on or achieve their own ideas and aspirations. This negative self-assessment often occurs at Christmas time. According to Caritas however the problem of poverty in Austria will only intensify over the next year after housing benefits for 2012 were further reduced.
For more information on Caritas in Upper Austria visit: http://www.caritas-linz.at/