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Working families in two towns in Germany will get government help with the housework. The towns are in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The government decided to test a new project to help people, especially women, who work overtime. The plan is to give vouchers to employees who work extra hours. The employees can use the vouchers to get help with the housework, such as cleaning, laundry, ironing, vacuuming and dusting. The idea behind the project is to help support family life and to reduce the shadow economy. The shadow economy is when people pay for goods and services in cash but do not pay tax on them. This means the government loses a lot of money.
Government spokesman Christian Rauch explained more about the project. He said: "Our experience shows that well-qualified women work fewer hours than they would like because they want to carry out household duties in addition to family responsibilities. If these women increase their working hours by five to ten hours and receive a voucher from us, they can afford quality help with the housework." He added that the new system would also create more jobs for people in the household-help industry and create more tax for the government. Another spokesman, Dr. Ralf Kleindiek, said: "With professional help in the home, it is easier to balance work and family life."Comprehension questions
- How many German towns are trying out the new project?
- Who in particular do officials want to help with this project?
- What can employees exchange for help with the housework?
- What does the government hope to reduce with the project?
- What does the article say the government loses a lot of?
- Who is Christian Rauch?
- What do well-qualified women want to do instead of working more hours?
- How many hours longer should women work to get a voucher?
- What will the new project create besides more taxes?
- What will the project mean people can balance work with?
Back to the household help lesson.