"A basic income should guarantee that people don't have to be alone"
François, 22 years, Belgium
I come from Verviers and have been unemployed for 8 and a half months. I live with my parents, and I am registered with 15 interim agencies - some in Verviers and some in Liège. The agencies help match my qualifications with jobs that are available through a computer search, but usually I'm excluded because I don't have a car, or I don't have enough experience"
My parents receive a family payment for me since I am unemployed, and from them I receive around 75 euros per month for my personal use.
"Lack of independence is difficult, and lack of income also limits my social life. I can meet my friends and talk with them, but nothing more. I can't afford to go out because it's too expensive."
"The problem is that when you stop socialising, you miss out on the social network that can lead you to a job. The more isolated you become, the more disconnected you are from this possibility of finding work".
My understanding of "social protection" is a system in place where everyone contributes part of their salary to help others in a precarious situation. I think the system is quite good in Belgium, but there are still not enough jobs for the people who search for them.
The waiting time of nine months in Belgium is difficult. I would prefer not to have to wait 9 months before receiving money independently. Support had started at the beginning of my unemployment period, I may have been able to have a car now so that I could qualify for some of the jobs I found. I don't really understand the waiting time, but I know that it is "cheaper" for a company to hire someone after nine months, so it can sometimes disadvantage people who have not been unemployed for so long."
"I think its important that 'social protection' means protection of income to guarantee the basic needs - like housing, food, but also transport in order to search for a job. I think it should also be enough to guarantee that people have the opportunity to not be alone"
"For me, the right to work is important because it gives autonomy and the means to participate in society"