Dutch cabinet to improve elderly people’s purchasing power

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl). (Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl))

The Dutch cabinet wants to repair the purchasing power of elderly people and people living on welfare benefits, Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Friday. "We want the elderly and people depending on benefits to also come out above zero and not lag behind the rest of the Netherlands, Dijsselbloem said, according to NU.nl.

According to the Finance Minister, considerably more money is involved in repairing purchasing power for these groups than last year, when about 900 million euros was dedicated to maintain the purchasing power for the elderly and welfare recipients. He added that the government is focusing on groups, and that the effects for individuals may differ.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte is more cautious about the topic, saying that the government wants to "prevent deterioration" of the purchasing power of these two groups, instead of improving it. "That is the aim and we'll have to look later if it worked', he sad. Rutte pointed out that the economic recovery is still fragile and the projected growth was negatively impacted by the Brexit. 

Statistics Netherlands estimates that the purchasing power of workers will increase by 1.1 percent next year. Welfare recipients and pensioners, however, will see their purchasing power fall by 0.1 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.

The final plan for what to do about the elderly and welfare recipients' purchasing power will be announced on Budget Day.