Dutch most fear radical Islam, social care cuts

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Dutch citizens are currently most concerned about healthcare and elderly care and immigration and integration. This is according to the latest publication by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) - Citizen Perspective 2015/1.

If it were up to the Dutch, healthcare and elderly care would be at the top of the priority list of the Hague politics. Citizens are particularly concerned about healthcare costs, budget cuts and changes in the health care system.

Another concern high on Dutch citizens' list is immigration and integration. 12 percent of the national problem awareness is about integration and immigration. The groups named most are Muslims/Islam, asylum seekers and foreigners. 19 percent of respondents will not say what exactly the problem is with these groups. Specific problems that were mentioned are that there are too many asylum seekers or foreigners and concerns about the asylum policy.

The share of Dutch people who are sufficiently satisfied with the Dutch economy decreased from 70 percent in the last quarter of 2014 to 65 percent this quarter. 76 percent expect that the economic situation will not deteriorate in the coming year, an increase of 4 percent compared to the previous quarter. All in all the vote on the economy remains more positive than in recent years. People are also more positive about their own financial situation - 80 percent are satisfied and 77 percent expect no deterioration in the coming year.

40 percent of the Dutch population is fairly or very concerned about the international political situation. 44 percent are a little concerned and 6 percent are not worried at all. Concerns relate to terrorism, radical Islam, terrorist organization Islamic State (ISIS), Russia's actions in the Ukraine and the relationship between Greece and the European Union.

Dutch people have more confidence in regional and local institutions than in the government. The confidence in both institutions is much higher in the Netherlands than the European average. Local politics scored a 5.8 compared to 5.0 for the Hague politics. There was a decrease in confidence in politics. 51 percent have sufficient confidence in the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament), compared to 55 percent last quarter. Confidence in the government decreased from 54 percent to 48 percent.

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