The Dutch government paid 4.7 billion euro in care allowances in 2011, nearly 0.9 billion more than one year previously. The increase is related to an increase in the standard premium for health care insurance. Just over six in ten households received a care allowance last year according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands.
Government spending on the care allowance was nearly one quarter higher in 2011 than in 2010. Since the introduction of the care allowance in 2006, spending on it has increased yearly. Overall it rose by nearly 90 percent between 2006 and 2011.
The increasing costs of the care allowance are largely caused by the increase in the standard premium for health care insurance. This rose by 35 percent between 2006 and 2011, from over 1,000 euro to 1,375 euro per year. In 2011 the annual premium was more than 100 euro higher than in 2010. This had a knock-on effect in government spending on the care allowance. A number of measures have now been introduced to bring the increase in spending on the care allowance to a halt.
Relatively more households receive care allowance
In 2011, 4.6 million households received a care allowance. The share of households receiving a care allowance between 2006 and 2011 has increased from 56 percent to over 60 percent. The average amount paid to households also rose. In 2006 a household received 550 euro, in 2011 this was around 1,000 euro.
Nine in ten households in lowest income groups receive an allowance
Nine in ten households in the group with the 30 percent lowest gross income received a care allowance. In the group with the highest 30 percent of incomes this was three in ten households. In high-income households the care allowance is usually paid to a child over 18 years who still lives at home and is eligible for a care allowance because of his/her own low income.