Working families in two towns in Germany will get government help with the housework. The government is testing a new project to help people, especially women, who want to work more. Employees who work extra hours will get vouchers. These are to get help with the housework, such as cleaning, ironing, vacuuming and dusting. The project will help to support family life and to reduce the shadow economy. The shadow economy is when people pay for things in cash but do not pay tax on them. This means the government loses money.
A government spokesman explained that qualified women work fewer hours than they want to because they do housework and look after the family. He said if these women worked five to ten hours more, they would get a government voucher and could then afford to pay someone to help with the housework. He added that the new system would mean more jobs for people in the household-help industry and create more tax for the government. Another spokesman said: "With professional help in the home, it is easier to balance work and family life."