Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in A...
What costs are rising in the Netherlands for 2014?02 January 2014, by Alexandra Gowling
From January 1, 2014, a number of new rules and regulations will come into effect in the Netherlands, with varying impacts on wages and costs for various products and services.
The excess charge in health insurance premiums will increase from 10 euros to 360 euros in 2014. Some products and services will also no longer be covered by health insurance, including the contraceptive pill Diane 35 and contributions for psychological help.
The healthcare allowance will also drop, to a maximum of 865 euros a year for a single person. This is due to healthcare insurance being cheaper: a single person can now get healthcare for 865 euros a year, while for a family that maximum cost is 1.655 euros.
General living costs
On top of the average energy bill for the home, the government is adding around 10 euros a year as a subsidy for renewable energy production. The tax on tap water will also go up, although by a similarly small amount.
Prices for beer, wine, fortified wines and spirits will also increase, thanks to an excise duty increase of 5,75 per cent.
Driving a car in the Netherlands
Excise duty for diesel and LPG will increase, by three per cent and seven per cent respectively. The maximum amount for traffic fines will also go up, with the fine for running a red light increasing to 230 euros.
Driver’s licence costs will be standardised across the Netherlands to around 38 euros, resulting in increases in some municipalities.
For any expats looking to get a mortgage in the Netherlands, from 2014 the tax credit related to mortgage payments will be reduced, in stages of half a per cent, from 51,5 to 38 per cent of the payment.
The limit for the Nationale Hypotheek Garantie (national mortgage guarantee) will drop on July 1 to 265.000 euros, while new mortgages may not exceed 104 per cent of the value of the property.
The rent limit for social housing properties will go up to 699 euros, with the income threshold for allocation of social housing also increasing by more than 400 euros, to 34.648 euros.
Dutch municipal fines
Municipalities will now be able to impose a fine of up to 325 euros on people if they do not inform their municipality (gemeente) of a major change in time. For example, the municipality must be informed of a new address within five days of moving.
Wages and benefits
Lastly, a few cost reductions. The maximum tax credit (heffingskorting) will increase by 102 euros, as will the maximum employee tax credit (arbeidskorting - calculated by employers), by 347 euros.
The minimum wage will rise by about eight euros on January 1, to 1.485,60 euros per month. Benefits (such as the unemployment WW benefit) that are linked to the minimum wage will rise in line with it.