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Wealth in the crisis - Research note 9/2012 by Eva Sierminska (2012)
The purpose of this Research Note is examine the extent to which household wealth provides a means assisting people to weather the effects of the crisis by compensating, at least in part, for reductions in income or alleviating the consequences of this. The focus is on working-age population, especially those aged 25 to 49, and on their wealth levels, home-ownership rates, financial assets and debt holdings which are compared with their income levels. The wealth situation of homeowners as opposed to tenants is also examined, along with the possible role of that wealth might potentially play in helping households to cope with lower income levels. The concept of asset poverty and its significance in the present context is also considered.

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Disparities in access to essential services - Research note 8/2012 by Erhan Őzdemir and Terry Ward (2012)
Access to essential services is essential if people are to have the ability to participate fully in society. This Research Note examines four different kinds of service, in each case on the basis of data included in the EU-SILC and defining access in terms of affordability as well as the convenience of the location from which services are provided. The services are: (1) healthcare, which is investigated in terms of the relative number of people reporting an unmet need as well as the number of visits made to a doctor; (2) public transport,which is assessed in terms of the proportion of people reporting difficulties of access, which can be especially important for older people who may not have a car; (3) banking and postal services, which are assessed in the same way and for which, in teh case of the former, access might be affected by credit-worthiness as well as the aspects which apply to the other services; (4) childcare,for which there are no data to assess access directly but only indirectly in terms of the people using childcare services. The analysis indicates that for each type of service there are marked variations in access both between Member States and between social groups, with access being a particular problem in the lower income countries.

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