Refugee influx biggest concern for Dutch people today

Over the past few months Dutch people were most concerned about the arrival of refugees and asylum seekers in the Netherlands, according to the fourth quarter of this year's report on citizens' perspective by the Social and Cultural Planning Office.

"This quarter immigration and integration dominate the national awareness of the problem", the SCP writes. Dutch people are afraid of the increasing tensions in society or find it unfair that asylum seekers get money and facilities while some Dutch live in poverty or have to wait years for a home. Many are also worried that there are terrorists among the refugees.

Only 13 percent of the people SCP questioned think that the Netherlands should take in more refugees and are concerned about the inhospitable attitude towards asylum seekers. 56 percent are against this statement.

More people are satisfied with the Dutch economy. This quarter 74 percent indicated that they are happy with the state of the economy, compared to 64 percent last quarter. There was very little movement in satisfaction with society, politics and trust in social institutions.

Politics often gets the blame for things that go wrong in the Netherlands. When asked about what goes right and wrong in the country, respondents often start with politics - 33 percent among highly educated and 22 percent among those with a lower education - and it is usually negative. Many people feel that Dutch politics are too focused on what is going on abroad and do not listen to their own people. The way politicians treat each other is also criticized.

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