The student who brought the case, Mark Mulder, is now also entitled to compensation of €800.
Lawyers have warned for some time that the categorical exclusion of students is not legally acceptable. The LSVb Student Union advises all students to file an objection with their municipality if their application for benefits is rejected or they will go to court. The statement about Nijmegen’s student is the first.
LSVb Chairman Joram van Velzen says he is very pleased with the ruling. He adds that there are more cases to come. “There are individual students working on cases against their municipality and we are also preparing a group case, along with the FNV. In this case, a statement must be made on all students in the municipality. This first statement is of course a boost.”
from tour in news hour Most student cities, with the exception of Delft and Zwolle, appear to have excluded students from the allowance. Van Velzen: “Two things can happen now. Either the government will come up with a solution for the students, or we will continue to file lawsuits as long as we can.”
Mark Mulder received a letter from his municipality at the beginning of April stating that he would receive the required benefits. Two weeks later, he received a message that this previous message was an error. Because a young person receives or is entitled to student funding, he is no longer entitled to an energy allowance, according to the college.
The Nijmegen resident did not leave it at that. On the basis of his low income, he is entitled to the allowance. Like other households, it is also affected by higher energy prices. He filed an appeal but was rejected. Then he went to court.
The judge accepts the argument that the municipality distinguishes between residents of the same financial situation, i.e. students and non-students. The municipality did this on the advice of Minister Schouten (Poverty Policy). He advised municipalities to exclude four categories from the benefit: young people up to the age of 21, homeless or homeless, people living in an institution, and students. Most municipalities have adopted this advice, although in Alkmaar, for example, the homeless – who do not have an energy bill – received 800 euros.
According to the minister, the living situation of students is very diverse, as well as in terms of energy costs. About half of them still live at home with their parents, and therefore do not have their own energy bill. Most of them live in rooms and pay rent, which includes energy. The Minister considered individual special assistance a better tool to help this group than the general additional cost of energy.
However, the energy surcharge bill also states that it does not matter if the recipient already has a severely increased energy bill. The argument that all students can be excluded from the allowance because of their living condition is incorrect – in this case.
The taxi bridge is too far
Although Mulder will still receive €800 in energy allowance, he is not quite right. In fact, he also wanted to pay for a taxi, buy prints so that he could read his works and make up for the time he spent on them.
However, the judge does not understand why the young man had to take a taxi by itself, and also refers other requests for compensation to the trash. However, the young man will be reimbursed for the costs of public transport from his address to the court in Arnhem: 15.10 euros. The municipality also pays the registration costs of €50.
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