In the absence of any real action on the issue of Luxembourg housing costs from the EU institutions, assistance is now available from the Luxembourgish state for those on lower incomes (for Luxembourg(!)) who are renting. The subsidy is between €200 and €400 per month, depending on take-home pay and how many children there are in your household. Looking at our salary scales, and depending on individual circumstances, this might help staff in all function groups and categories, but particularly our contract agent (CA), assistant (AST) and secretaries and clerks (AST/SC) colleagues. Using the pay calculator as a rough guide, we see that the Luxembourg national authority evaluation of what constitutes a low income includes our colleagues e.g. in CA III, grade 9(5), AST2(1) and AST/SC3(1). Please don’t just look at your payslip, not all allowances count towards your net income. Check out whether you are eligible by requesting a PMO certificate via the MyIntracomm Luxembourg state aid page. Let the PMO do an official calculation, you might be pleasantly surprised!
As we said before, maybe we should change the slogan ‘Luxembourg – a great place to work’ into ‘Luxembourg – where we will help you to apply for social aids because we cannot be bothered to pay you a decent salary’. Admittedly, this slogan doesn’t have the same ring to it, but at least it’s an honest statement.
We like to think the parody news story Shocking discovery: hundreds of corporate juniors living in tunnel below Kirchberg influenced this decision, it is not far from the truth.
We leave you with the very useful Tenant’s rights brochure for Luxembourg, know your rights!
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If you are interested in becoming more involved or if you are thinking of standing in the November 2022 Luxembourg Local Staff Committee elections, please get in touch!
 To put this in context see the examples we gathered in our ‘Wild West of Teleworking’ Photography Contest: winners! (May, 2021):
- a Contract Agent (CA) colleague (FGII) spending >44% of take-home pay on the cheapest flat available after moving from a flat share (Luxembourg)
- another colleague not being considered for a rental property (again in Luxembourg) because take-home pay (AST3) is not even close to the 3 x (rent + charges) increasingly insisted upon by landlords.
For a slightly worn 2 bedroom flat rental the AST3 colleague required EUR 5400 as take-home pay: this might be possible in 2036 when our colleague might have reached the grade of AST6 step 2 (15 years (?): slide 37)) if accommodation costs were to remain static. Unfortunately, in Luxembourg things have gotten more than a little out of hand:
‘House price developments in the EU Member States Among the Member States for which data are available, the highest annual increases in house prices in the fourth quarter of 2020 were recorded in Luxembourg (+16.7%), Denmark (+9.8%) and Lithuania (+9.4%).’ Eurostat, 8 April 2021, euroindicators, 40/2021.