Summary: Belgium got rid of the disability love tax. The love tax is when the government gives people with disabilities less money if they have a partner or co-habitant. There is a petition in France to also get rid of the love tax because the vote about it has been stuck in Senate for a year.
People with disabilities in Belgium may receive an “integration allowance” meant to cover costs associated with disability such as personal assistants, assistive technologies, therapies, etc. Until January 1st this year, that allowance was decreased if the person lived with a partner or co-habitant, the sum adjusted to their revenue. This has been referred to as the “love tax” and it has now been eliminated, to the benefit of 40% of the allowance recipients living as a couple. It is estimated that this step will save 31 million euros to recipients in total.
In France, the struggle continues as this adjustment of the equivalent allowance still exists, and the law proposition against it has been blocked within the Senate since February 2020. French disability advocates launched a petition to eliminate this adjustment last September, and while usually French petitions to the senate must obtain 100,000 signatures within 6 months to be heard, this one was accepted for hearing at 77,000 signatures due to consistent pressure from disability activists.
More broadly, the reduction of integration allowances or benefits based on other revenue continues to be a problem across Europe, where thousands of people with disabilities see their benefits reduced when they get into a couple or get a job, despite all the additional costs they face due to their disabilities remaining the same. This will have to be addressed throughout the proposal of the Directive on Adequate Minimum Wage which will be steered by the Portuguese presidency of the Social Pillar.