Cost of fireworks-related accidents doubled to €2.6 million
The medical and absenteeism costs of people with fireworks-related injuries amounted to 2.6 million euros the past New Year's. A fireworks ban was in effect, just like during the 2020-2021 New Year's. That year, the medical and absenteeism costs amounted to 1.1 million euros, Justice Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius and Infrastructure State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen said in a letter to parliament.
After the New Year's celebrations between 2014 and 2018, when there were no fireworks bans, these costs amounted to around 3.2 million euros per year. These figures are from VeiligheidNL, which annually reports the costs incurred by fireworks victims treated in emergency rooms. The Cabinet members sent the 2021-2022 report to parliament. They have no data on treatment costs at GP posts and absenteeism costs after that.
In a second study sent to parliament, VeiligheidNL also found that support for a ban on consumer fireworks around New Year's has declined. At the turn of the year 2020-2021, over 50 percent of Netherlands residents favored a total fireworks ban. That number has now fallen to well below 50 percent. The Cabinet banned fireworks the past two New Year's to relieve pressure on healthcare staff already overloaded by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, will debate a proposal by GroenLinks and PvdD to make the temporary Covid-related fireworks ban permanent in exchange for professionally organized fireworks shows. Support in the Kamer for this proposal has also declined.
Reporting by ANP