Dutch government considers 500-euro allowance to help cover rising living costs
Prime Minister Mark Rutte has agreed to look into options for providing low and middle-income households with a financial supplement of 500 euros in order to help them cover rising living costs.
Compensation for low and middle-income earners in the Netherlands
In a debate in the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) this week, the left-wing opposition parties called on Rutte’s cabinet to do more to support the purchasing power of families and individuals earning lower salaries, as people across the country continue to face high inflation rates and rising costs.
The opposition's proposal includes plans for a one-off payment, dubbed the autumn allowance, of 500 euros for members of the population who already receive a healthcare allowance (i.e. individuals who earn a maximum of around 32.000 euros a year). This payment would come on top of the energy allowance some households are eligible to receive from municipalities in order to help cover the rising cost of energy.
Dutch Prime Minister looks into options for autumn allowance
Opposition parties emphasise that middle-income earners aren’t benefiting enough from the measures put in place by the Dutch government to alleviate the pressure many households are currently facing. While Rutte was supportive of the proposal and agreed to look into what options were available, the Prime Minister refused to make any promises or commitments.
"I will not say yes and not say no. We are going to take a serious look at it," Rutte said, emphasising that it would “not [be] easy” to arrange before the end of the year and that the cabinet would have to look into how the government could cover the costs of the measure. "We look at shelf life, coverage and balance," Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag added.
Agreeing to the opposition’s proposal would cost the government around 2,35 billion euros. More information about the measure is expected to be revealed this summer, when parliament negotiates the cabinet’s budget for next year in August.