‘Almost one in two single mothers will not keep their house warm this winter’ | Economy

Single women and especially single mothers are at great risk of a cold winter. Much more than single men, they run into problems with their energy bill.

Nearly half of single mothers (44 percent) and almost one-third of single women will not be able to afford it in the next three months, compared to a quarter of single men. This is what the European trade union umbrella organization Etuc says, which is asking for urgent action from politicians: price ceilings, emergency allowances to immediately help the worst affected, and fairer wages for women as a structural measure.

The trade union umbrella launches its cry for help on the occasion of equal pay day today. This indicates that the pay gap between men and women is still so large (13 percent) that women actually work for free for the rest of the year. Their work is undervalued. More than men, they were first hit hard in corona times, and now they are being hit the hardest again in the energy crisis,” says Etuc top woman Esther Lynch. “Many of them were already struggling to make ends meet, the energy crisis is driving them completely into poverty. We are talking about almost half of single mothers who cannot afford themselves and their children a warm house this winter.”

Payment arrears

Judging by payment arrears, the situation differs greatly from country to country. The Netherlands is among the small group of countries where this has been relatively limited so far: 9 percent. Only in Germany, Sweden and Denmark is this even less, in Italy and Greece it is already 25 and 50 percent. Government support measures are also not the same everywhere. In the Netherlands, as in France and Germany, there is appreciation for the government’s approach, but in all three of these countries the unions also believe that support measures should be more targeted (at lower incomes) and less ad hoc. Etuc also advocates for this, and for closing the wage gap quickly. Lynch: “No warm words, but a warm house through a pay rise.”