The issue is related to families receiving additional subsidies to raise their salaries, long-term unemployment benefits and sickness benefits to ‘living’ levels. These payments would later be assessed as taxable income by the Dutch tax office and the family would be required to repay housing and medical benefits. This pushes them under the legal poverty line again.
Since 2016, government-recognized clashes have reached the Supreme Court of Appeals. September, Centrale Raad van Beroep control The Arnhem Council had to compensate couples whose benefits were reclaimed, falling below the official minimum income necessary to “live”.
In 2016, National Ombudsman In a letter to the government, it said the rules were causing “undesirable or unfair consequences” and increasing the risk of poverty and debt for “economically vulnerable families”. Deputy Minister for Social Affairs Jetta Klijnsma said she wrote back to agree, but the issue has not yet been resolved.
Last November, the Landelijke Organisatie Socialal Raadslieden, an association representing social councilors across the country, said: I have written He told the current social affairs minister that some local governments were ready to supplement people’s incomes again.
People are living below the poverty line, the report said, “as a result of laws that don’t fit properly.”
Maarten Bocking, a social worker specializing in legal assistance in Dronten and Seewolde, has helped four families who are in or have been in the same situation. “It’s terrifying,” he told Dutch News.
“About 15 years ago, something changed with the income tax credit, and that was reflected in benefits. [taxable] If it’s income for this special group, no problem.
“But the tax office sees it dogmatically. I think it’s backwards to think in such a rigid way – look what you’re doing to people!
His client, Gracilia Slingard, whose husband lost his job due to a long-term illness, said: Newzur She relied on the food bank for a living and couldn’t understand the bill that called for her benefits to be repaid. “She has five or six euros for three of us to eat every day.
“It all started in 2017…a letter asking Belastingdienst to repay €272 while living on welfare. Please. I don’t know how they added it up.
Poor Minister Karola Schuten told a member of parliament Ongoing issues affecting people’s widespread trust in benefits programs. “This is an unintended consequence of government policy and the government has not found a suitable solution for seven years,” she wrote. I feel bad that I didn’t.”
She told the NOS that a solution to the complex and conflicting regulations was “urgently needed” and the government hopes to have this by the summer.
At the local level, some municipalities want to find and compensate troubled families as soon as possible. in Nijmegen, pilot This project was started to let families who may be in the gap know that they have a right to reach out and help.
Earlier this month, the D66 councilors in Amsterdam said: information The scale of the problem and whether the victim is being helped. Local party leader Ilana Ruderkerk told Dutch News:
“I think the municipality should actively look for Amsterdammers who are dealing with this. We asked them to compensate as soon as possible and fix this system error so that it does not happen again.
A spokesman for the Tuoslagen Welfare Office denied the fact that the government sent bills asking citizens to repay the benefits without explanation. He said Dutch news information is also available online and that staff are happy to explain the bill.
https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/03/government-benefits-errors-put-5000-families-under-poverty-line/ 5,000 Families Below the Poverty Line Due to Mistakes in Government Benefits