Purchasing power in Netherlands sees highest increase since 2007

The average purchasing power of Dutch increased by 2.7 percent last year, the strongest increase since 2007, Statistics Netherlands announced on Friday. Despite this, one in three Dutch saw their purchasing power decrease, NU.nl reports. 

The increase can be attributed to a package of debt relief measures and an average of 1.8 percent increase in collective bargaining agreement wages, according to the stats office. The 0.3 percent increase in consumer prices, pushed purchasing power down somewhat. 

Employed people saw a purchasing power increase of 4.9 percent - the highest increase in 15 years. Employees benefited from an increase in labor discount and lower income tax in the second and third categories. The increase in collective bargaining wages also played a role. 28 percent of employees saw their purchasing power decrease because they worked fewer hours.

Self-employed saw an average purchasing power increase of 1.8 percent. The differences between self-employed are huge. A fifth of self-employed saw their purchasing power decline by at least 12.5 percent, while another fifth saw it increase by 18 percent or more. 

Pensioners' purchasing power increased by an average of 0.9 percent. They benefited from an increase in elderly discount, but also had to deal with no- or limited indexation of supplementary pensions. Wealthy pensioners also had to pay more tax because the elderly allowance was abolished.

Single parents' purchasing power increased by an average of 3.4 percent, and couples with children saw a 5 percent increase. These families benefited from a number of child-related regulations. For example, child support, the child-related budget and the income-based combination discount all increased. A fifth of families saw their purchasing power increase by more than 14 percent.