Expensive healthcare, high rent pushing more households into debt

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An increasing number of Dutch households are blaming expensive healthcare and high rent for their debt problems. Compared to three years ago, these two items are much more commonly given as the cause of payment problems, according to the National Institute for Budget Information (Nibud), NU reports.

Three years ago 10 percent of consumers blamed payment arrears on high healthcare costs, this year it was 22 percent. High rents got the blame in 27 percent of the cases, compared to 15 percent in 2012. Nibud calls this a very disturbing development, because these payment problems are much harder to solve than problems caused by over-spending or careless administration.

Two in five households are currently behind on their payments, according to the institute. A fifth of households has serious debt problems. This is about equal to 2012, so only the reason for the problems shifted.

Many welfare recipients are living at the limit of their financial capabilities, Nibud also stated. Three quarters of welfare recipients struggle to get through the month, compared to 69 percent in 2012.

Nibud finally notes that the Dutch population generally manage their money matters better than in 2005. This year half of Dutch households never ended up in the red, compared to 36 percent in 2005. The number of households indicating that they could not draw money due to insufficient funds also decreased from 27 percent ten years ago to 18 percent this year.

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