The Hague: Does a family on welfare ‘earn’ more than a family on one median income?
— De Telegraaf (@telegraaf) 24 mei 2017
What sort of financial support does the The Hague municipality provide for a married couple, with two teen-aged children and a dog when they do not generate an income from work? That is the question the Dutch Torry (VVD) fraction in The Hague asked the council today.
The VVD’s own research seems to establish that apart from the €27.000 in benefits each, that all Dutch nationals on welfare receive from the federal government, the The Hague municipality adds to this €6000 worth of extras. From a free PC to a bicycle, school supplies, swimming lessons and the so-called Ooievaarspas. But also such things as musical tickets in a Christmas gift packet, or exemption from certain taxes.
This means, that while the same family with one median income would make only €27.200 a year, that same family on welfare would ‘make’ €33.247 a year.
The full layout of benefits can be seen here (PDF).
“These kinds of policies keep people dependent on social benefits. They are anti-social towards those who have to work hard for their money.“
Michon says there is no escaping the many local allowances, quoting the fact that the municipality has employed an “aggressive promotional team” to point out to the 27.000 people on welfare in The Hague all the arrangements available to them. Tired of Labour Party alderman Rabin Baldewsingh playing Santa, she calls it impossible to explain that the nearby municipality of Westland cannot find enough personnel to work the greenhouses, while Baldewsingh pampers those that do not have a job.
“Is it strange that those people do not go out and get jobs? They won’t make as much money working. (…) Working a job should pay a dividend. Especially for people on social benefits, it is vitally important that they gain financially when they find a job. The poverty policy should work as a springboard towards a job. Unfortunately, the reverse seems through. The The Hague policy stimulates the poverty trap, as a little arithmetic shows. (…)After the next elections, we want to cut the number of arrangements.“
Replying for the Labour party, faction leader Martijn Balster counters that:
“Michon is using alternative facts to brand people on welfare as lazy. And she leaves out the ten thousand of Euro’s that go toward richer city dwellers in the form of lower taxes and tax breaks.“
The city council is expected to respond to the VVD’s question next week.