Fight Against Poverty

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The government has this year allocated 20 million euro extra for poverty reduction. The bulk of this amount, 19 million euro, goes to the municipalities. They have the director's role in the fight against poverty and debts.

Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary for Social Affairs, wrote that on Wednesday to the House. She appeals to the municipalities to give priority to use the money for children from poor families. Further, some of the extra money goes to Caribbean Netherlands.

Recent advise

The Secretary points the municipalities on a recent advise of the Children's Ombudsman to put together a package for children. In that package there should be things like transportation, a library pass or swimming lessons. 26 municipalities have expressed to make such a package.

Klijnsma wants that poverty management especially focuses on prevention of debts and the early detection of payment problems. She wants municipalities, creditors, bailiffs, water companies, corporations and others involved, to coöperate in the early identification of debts. She also makes a plea that  government and private organizations must coöperate.

In the Netherlands, with its proper social security system, the risk of poverty is relatively low, writes Klijnsma. The government wants that this remains the same even in these difficult economic times. Although painful measures are necessary due to the recession, the government keeps an eye on the impact of purchasing power and the lowest incomes will be spared as much as possible, according to the State Secretary.