Concerns about being able to pay the bills are greater than ever. Low incomes often need hundreds of euros of government support each month to make ends meet. But the majority of middle-income earners have serious financial concerns.
This is evidenced by research by one day Among the nearly 25,000 members of the opinion committee. Although the Dutch economy appears to be doing well, according to CBS, the financial situation of many Dutch people is far from that. The Cabinet will meet tonight to discuss the many crises currently taking place in the country, but the ever-increasing prices should definitely be at the top of the agenda, the committee members believe. Purchasing power concerns most people in the country (64 percent).
In practice, already large groups have problems with payment. For example, the majority of low-income (54 percent) and a quarter of middle-income (26 percent) have problems paying for groceries. Three out of ten (29 percent) of low-income earners have not recently been able to pay their energy bill. 12 percent of middle-income earners have recently had problems with these.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is also very concerned about the purchasing power of the Dutch. He calls this a very serious problem that needs to be solved. This is what the prime minister said after a consultation on nitrogen between negotiator Johann Remix and the banking sector. Ruti and a number of other ministers were there.
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Rich and poor agree: the government must now compensate low- and middle-income earners. The number of people interested in their purchasing power has risen from a minority (44 percent) in March to two-thirds (67 percent) now. Remarkably, after low incomes, the majority of middle-income earners now have serious financial concerns.
Decisive government support
Despite recent attempts to combat this, the government sees the purchasing power of the Dutch declining even further. Tonight the government will hold deliberations in Catshuis. The call for government support is high: three-quarters of them think the government is waiting too long before it takes action. One of them said: “As usual, they do not intervene until it is too late.” “This also happened with the issue of nitrogen and allowances. Families like mine are really falling apart.”
The government has to solve many issues. The Prime Minister said the financial issue is part of that. Mark Rutte says that solutions to the various crises in the Netherlands must be balanced. However, the coalition meeting that will take place Thursday evening in Cathuis in The Hague will mainly focus on the budget preview, according to the prime minister.
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In fact, half (49 percent) of low-income earners say government support is important to them to make ends meet, or it probably won’t be enough. Half of them say they need at least an additional 250 euros per month. “It’s going up really fast. I have to add hundreds of euros a month to the energy costs alone. I can’t afford to increase the premium any more, so a year-end settlement would be a disaster,” one wrote in desperation.
Compensation for low and middle income earners
They believe that the growing group of people in difficulty should be compensated as quickly as possible. This mainly pertains to low and middle income, and the majority of high income people feel the same way. Only 12 percent of high-income earners think they should get government subsidies.
But this solidarity has its limits: the vast majority of high-income earners (69 percent) don’t want to pay extra taxes for it. They feel that they are already paying enough taxes and that the compensation has to come from somewhere else.
How should the government compensate people? Although the effects on people can sometimes be difficult to estimate, it is clear where the government should get compensation, according to members of the Opinion Committee: the businesses that benefit in these times of crisis. 86% support imposing an “unexpected tax” on them to bridge the purchasing power gaps among citizens. Increasing the minimum wage faster and more or taxing capital rather than income are also common options.
But is this enough? Only a tenth (11 per cent) is confident that the government will now quickly come up with measures to absorb the loss of purchasing power. 84 percent do not. The Dutch economy may grow, but concerns about its own portfolio will remain for the time being.
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