July 2023: 17 things expats in the Netherlands need to know
As per usual, July is bringing a wealth of important changes to life in the Netherlands. From a higher minimum wage to bans on ads for online gambling platforms, here are 17 things expats living and working in the Netherlands need to know about in July 2023.
1. Dutch government raises minimum wage
As of July 1, 2023, the Dutch minimum wage is increasing to (gross, in euros):
The higher minimum wage will also have knock-on effects on benefits and allowances in the Netherlands. This means that, as of July 1, the rates for the following benefits will also increase:
- Participatiewet (social assistance benefit, income supplement)
- IOAW and IOAZ (benefits for the unemployed elderly)
- WIA, WAO, Wajong, and ZW (disability and sickness benefits)
- WW (unemployment benefits)
- Toeslagenwet (covers WW, WIA, WAO, Wajong and ZW allowances)
- AOW (state pension)
- Anw (survivor’s benefits)
2. Lower child benefit for families in the Netherlands
|Per child aged 0 - 5||261,70 euros|
|Per child aged 6 - 11||317,77 euros|
|Per child aged 12 - 17||373,85 euros|
3. Rent to increase for housing in the social sector
Once again, rents for social housing in the Netherlands will rise this month. Tenants could see their rental prices increase by a maximum of 3,1 percent. In spite of this cap, it’s worth noting that those with low rents or high incomes could experience a larger increase.
4. Rent reductions for some housing association tenants
On a similar note, low-income earners living in housing association properties (corporatiewoningen) will be granted a rent reduction from July of this year. Starting this month, housing associations will reduce rents to 575 euros a month for tenants earning less than 120 percent of the national minimum income.
5. Better protection for tenants against landlords
The final key change when it comes to housing in the Netherlands is a new law which provides municipalities with more options to protect tenants from extortion. The government hopes the law will set a standard for good landlordship.
6. Future Pensions Act comes into effect
It was a long process, but recently the government officially voted in favour of implementing a new pension system. The Future Pensions Act comes into force on July 1, 2023 - although there is set to be a years-long transition period for unions, employers and pension providers to finalise their new contracts and schemes.
7. New ban on free single-use plastic to-go packaging
As was announced last year, the Dutch government is introducing a new anti-single-use plastic policy in the Netherlands. As of July 1, customers ordering food or drinks to go will be required to pay extra for plastic packaging. Read more about the new rules here.
8. Cost of petrol to rise as government lifts tax cap
The cap on excise duties that was introduced by the Dutch government last spring in order to limit the consequences of the energy crisis hasn’t been extended, and so is officially lifted as of July 1, 2023.
This means drivers across the Netherlands will see the cost of fuel rise once again. From July 1, the excise duty on petrol is 0,789 euros, the excise duty on diesel is 0,516 euros, and the excise duty on LPG is 0,186 euros.
9. Dutch government bans ads for online gambling
Since October 1, 2021, online gambling has been legal in the Netherlands. This led to an almost immediate surge in the number of advertisements for online gambling platforms - something parliament took huge issue with.
As a result, the Dutch government has now decided to ban gambling ads. From July 1, 2023, radio and TV ads as well as billboards advertising online gambling are banned in the Netherlands. The government hopes the ban will prevent young people and vulnerable groups from developing gambling addictions.
10. Higher interest rates on loans
The Dutch government has confirmed that, from July 1 onwards, the maximum interest rate for loans in the Netherlands will rise from 12 percent to 14 percent. This means that borrowing money, buying in instalments or having a bank account in overdraft can become (significantly) more expensive.
11. Debit Mastercard to replace Maestro
Maestro debit cards are a bit of a sore point for many with bank accounts in the Netherlands, but there is light at the end of the tunnel; from July 1, those with Maestro debit cards will be able to apply to receive a new card, which will instead be a Debit Mastercard.
Alternatively, you can wait until your current card expires - the replacement card sent by your bank will be a Debit Mastercard. Read more about the switch from Maestro to Debit Mastercard here.
12. Amsterdam changing parking rules and raising rates
On July 3, the municipality of Amsterdam will introduce a new parking policy for those with cars in the Dutch capital. Not only will hourly rates rise by between 0,20 and 0,50 euros per hour, but in the city centre paid parking will be in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From July 3, long-term parking tickets will also no longer be available to buy, meaning those parking in the city for a week or a month won’t be able to do so at a discounted price.
Finally, as of this month, the P+R rates in Amsterdam will also rise for the first time in over 10 years. Off-peak rates are rising from 1 euro to 6 euros per day, while rush-hour rates are rising from 8 euros to 13 euros per day. For more information about parking in Amsterdam, visit the municipality’s website.
13. Free public transport for kids in Amsterdam
On the topic of Amsterdam, this month also marks the start of a four-month-long period of free public transport for children. From July 22 through to November 30, children between the ages of four and 11 won’t have to pay a cent to travel by public transport operated by GVB in Amsterdam. Read more about the municipality’s scheme here.
14. Cost of a Dutch driving licence rising
Continuing the theme of transportation, it's been confirmed that the average cost of applying for a Dutch driving licence will rise from 44,65 euros to 48,15 euros in July - although it is worth noting that prices may differ depending on the municipality.
15. TV and internet providers raising rates
These aren't the only prices set to rise this month; the two main internet and TV providers in the Netherlands, KPN and Ziggo, have announced they're increasing their rates in July. According to NOS, KPN's prices are rising by over 6 percent, while over at Ziggo they're rising by an average of 8,5 percent.
16. New ban on carrying knives in Amsterdam
In response to growing knife crime in the Dutch capital, the city has expanded its knife laws. From July 1, carrying a knife - any knife - is banned throughout all of Amsterdam. The ban also applies to chef's knives and craft knives, although does not apply to newly purchased knives that are "packaged in such a way that they cannot be used directly as a stabbing weapon."
17. Schools close for the summer holidays
And last but certainly not least, July marks the month that schools across the Netherlands will close their doors for the summer holidays. While the price dates will be staggered between the three regions (North, Central, and South), this year all children will be free from school from July before returning to classes in either August or September.
Schools in the North region will be closed from July 22 to September 3, schools in the Central region will be closed from July 8 to August 20, and schools in the South region will be closed from July 15 to August 27.
Thumb: Lek_charoen via Shutterstock.com.