Work pays: Rotterdam low-income workers receive 50-euro gift
About 40.000 Rotterdam workers will receive a one-off 50-euro gift from the city council. The "work bonus" is designed for people with jobs who earn between 100 and 130 percent of the minimum wage.
Benefits vs minimum wage
According to Ronald Buijt, leader of Leefbaar Rotterdam party, there isn’t much difference between being on benefits and earning minimum wage in the Netherlands, and so it hardly justifies working full time.
Someone on benefits costs the government up to 1.400 euros a month, and yet someone who works full time for minimum wage receives roughly the same amount. Rotterdam wants to send out the message that working does actually pay off.
Criticism from other parties
Whilst the CDA and D66 support the initiative, the opposition, PvdA and the VVD think that it is an election gimmick designed to get votes in next year's election.
Leo Bruijn, the leader of the Labor Party, is pleased that Leefbaar Rotterdam is considering helping out those who have little disposable income, however, he feels that the initiative stigmatises those on benefits, particularly those who want to work but cannot find a job.
Antoinette Laan of the VVD points out that the gift only amounts to 99 cents per week, which won't make much of a dent in the pockets of low-income families in the current economic climate.
Buijtenland denies the election stunt claim and believes that such bonuses are a step in the next direction.
Other city councils
Working people with low incomes are supported by other city councils in the Netherlands but they offer coupons rather than giving out cash.
The bonus will cost the city of Rotterdam 2,3 million euros.