Latest figures show that the problem of child poverty is prevalent unevenly across Germany and one in seven German children is living on the basic welfare payments known as Hartz IV. The data released by the Federal Employment Agency (BA) reveal that although the figure in the southern state of Bavaria is just 6.8 percent, more than a third of kids in the German capital Berlin are still dependent on Hartz IV, German-language Saarbrucker Zeitung newspaper reported on Thursday.
According to official figures, more than 1.6 million German children under the age of 15 receive welfare payments nationwide. That reflects a drop of over 81,000 kids in the number of needy children in Germany overall since 2005 -- the year Hartz IV took effect.Sabine Zimmermann, social affairs expert for the socialist Left party, believes that the trend does not mark a decrease in the number of children living on the basic welfare payments. “Unfortunately, it’s still the case in Germany that poverty poses the biggest risk to children,” Zimmermann said. She noted that though fewer children are on Hartz IV in comparison with seven years ago, more and more families are taking advantage of the children’s allowance. This means that these payments go to parents who make enough money to support themselves; but who would otherwise rely on Hartz IV to support their children. MP/JR