Unfortunately, low-income households far more than higher-income households, according to a study commissioned by the Evangelische Diakonie. But these people also belong to society, Diakonie director Ulrich Lilie reminds us: “We don’t talk about the poor, we talk about ourselves.”

Many are groaning under the current heat wave – temperatures of around 35 degrees are causing problems for almost everyone. But some are less affected by the temperatures than others. Because, for example, they sit in their own isolated house and have a small pool with a parasol in their garden. While others are in a three-room apartment with several children. It’s the same with inflation. Nobody likes to spend more money on petrol, bread rolls or oil, but there are enough people in Germany who are really hurt by the additional costs. Diakonie leader Ulrich Lilie therefore appealed in the 320th episode of “today important”: “The stronger now have a responsibility”.

Low-income households are hard hit by rising prices

On behalf of the Evangelische Diakonie, the German Institute for Economic Research published a study last week with the result that low-income households are particularly hard hit by the rising prices. Their burden is proportionally almost five times as high as that of higher-income households. Ulrich Lilie is a Protestant theologian and President of Diakonie Germany. He reports: “This finding shows that the 20 percent of the lowest-income households in Germany […] already have to spend over 66 percent of their total income on housing, food and energy.” This is existential.

Climate crisis, inflation, war – “it’s not just a crisis”

All the trouble spots like the climate crisis, inflation and the war in Ukraine are causing profound changes in society as a whole, says Lilie: “It’s not just a crisis. A crisis is over in a moment – I think that’s the signs of a really profound transformation of our society.” Therefore, on the one hand, there is a need for pragmatic, quick help for those with lower incomes. On the other hand, Western and democratic societies in particular need a new narrative: “And that has to mean: Prosperity no longer just means growth rates at the expense of something. Prosperity means social participation, real educational opportunities, quality of life.” Therefore, we should not solve our problems at the expense of others.

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