Netherlands has highest gas price in EU
Last month, the Netherlands had the highest gas price of all European Union member states, Nieuwsuur reports based on figures from comparison site Energievergelijk.nl. On average, Dutch households paid 283 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) of gas in July, more than double the average EU household.
Gas is also about half the Netherlands’ price in neighboring countries, Germany and Belgium. Sweden still had the highest gas price in June, but the Netherlands surpassed it in July. In Sweden, the gas price was 237 euros per MWh last month.
Netherlands residents also pay a lot for electricity at 419 euros per MWh, including levies and a reduction in energy tax. The electricity price is only higher in Italy and Denmark.
An average household that has to renew its energy contract will pay about 3,700 euros more annually than last year, according to Energievergelijk.nl.
Budget advisor Nibud warns that the high energy prices will put more households in financial difficulties. Last month, about a third of households already struggled to make ends meet. “Some just need to cut back a bit, but there is also a large group who can’t get by even if they budget well,” Nibud director Arjan Vliegenthart said to Nieuwsuur. “And that’s worrisome.”
Trade union FNV called on the government and employers to intervene by raising wages “significantly.” FNV director Tuur Elzinga wants the minimum wage to increase to at least 14 euros per hour “and linked to this an increase in the welfare benefit ad the state pension.”
Elzinga also called for the government to use the price law to limit price increases on groceries and energy. “What we’re seeing now is that inflation is impoverishing citizens while companies are making record profits. There’s plenty of money, but it’s all with companies,” he said to the current affairs program.