- Reference Budgets: To identify what the costs would be for a ‘basket of goods and services’ for an adequate life and to contrast this with the reality of what is available under minimum income schemes and minimum wage agreements (where they exist).
- Impact of the Crisis: To identify in the context of the crisis the developments in relation to the level of income from work or minimum income schemes that impact on the lives of people experiencing poverty and on particular communities.
- Relevant Practices: To share information on some relevant practices that delegations are engaged in or aware of.
This report brings together the preparation work that was done by the delegations. It is important to note that this work was done with little or no financial support and the methodology used was very different from country to country. Some drew on existing work, some completed exercise with delegations and through preparation meetings. Therefore while very interesting information can be drawn from this work it is not possible to make direct comparisons between the different reports. Such a document would require more resources and time to develop. It points to the importance of the work identified in the Social Investment Package to develop common principals and methodologies for the development of Reference Budgets.
The examples of the impact of the crisis are very telling and puts clear images and faces to those carrying the greatest burden of the ‘austerity measures’. The examples of interesting practices shows that even in difficult circumstances choices can be made that make a positive difference.