Cabinet drops controversial plan to stop raising child benefits with inflation
The Cabinet has withdrawn its controversial plan to freeze the Kinderbijslag child benefit for a few years, instead of increasing it in line with inflation, the Ministry of Social Affairs reported. The plan, criticized by the opposition, was devised by the previous Cabinet to cover the costs for higher expenditures related to compensation. Fierce debates were held on the issue in the Tweede Kamer.
The government wanted to save 100 million euros annually by not adjusting child benefits with inflation in 2022 and in 2023, and also part of 2024. That money was going to instead be invested in the organizations that implement the benefits. Opposition parties called it a "blunt austerity" plan, and lashed out at the coalition and the Cabinet during a nighttime debate last autumn. The coalition parties were also not particularly enthusiastic, but reluctantly defended the proposal.
The opposition filed a motion in the Senate to withdraw the proposal, all the more so because costs are now rising rapidly. "Many families are currently having a hard time with inflation," acknowledged Minister Karien van Gennip on Twitter. "They can really use the usual increase in child benefit right now."
The allowance is adjusted twice annually, depending on how prices develop.
Reporting by ANP