Slightly more income support benefits in the Netherlands

Slightly more income support benefits in the Netherlands

According to figures from Statistics Netherlands, 320 thousand income support benefits were being paid to people up to the age of 65 years at the end of September 2012. This is one thousand more than in the previous quarter, and 6 thousand more than in September 2011.

Income support benefits have been rising since the end of 2008. Last year the total number of income support benefits paid rose slightly, by an average 1.5 thousand per quarter. The development in the number of income support benefits differs between age groups, however. The number of benefits paid to people aged 27 years or older has increased by 12 thousand to 292 thousand. This fits in with the picture of a deteriorating labour market: unemployment is rising and the number of jobs is decreasing.

In the age group younger than 27 the number of income support benefits continues to fall on the other hand. At the end of September 2012, 28 thousand young people were claiming income support, 6 thousand fewer than twelve months previously. The decrease among young people is related to stricter government policy on who is entitled to the benefit. A compulsory four-week period has been introduced, for example, in which young people who apply for the benefit are required to search actively for employment or education. The benefit is only paid when this period has been completed.

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