It's up to employers to increase wages and protect purchasing power, Dutch gov't says
The Cabinet sympathizes with Netherlands residents who struggle to make ends meet due to inflation and high energy prices, but they are mainly looking at employers for short-term solutions. Employers need to raise wages to protect Netherlands residents’ purchasing power, several Ministers said to NOS after a meeting on Tuesday.
“These are exceptional times and call for exceptional measures,” said Minister Karien van Gennip of Social Affairs. “We can only solve this together, so also with the employers. There is room to increase the salaries.” She met with her Finance and Economic Affairs colleagues on Tuesday to discuss purchasing power.
The government has already appealed to employers to raise wages, and wage increases are currently high at 3.5 percent on average in July. But that is still well below inflation, which was 10.3 percent in the same month.
“Here and there, you see that wages are rising, but it does not keep pace with the price increases,” Van Gennip said to NOS. “We have a really big problem when you hear that people put groceries back when they get to the checkout because they can’t afford it.”
Minister Sigrid Kaag of Finance gave the broadcaster a similar statement. “Higher wages are a structural solution. Not everything can come from the government,” she said.
The Ministers did not categorically rule out that the government would do something extra for low-income households and people with a low-middle income. “We are all getting a little poorer, but for certain groups, the consequences are enormous. We have to look at that,” said Minister Mickey Adriaansens of Economic Affairs.
Van Gennip urged people facing financial difficulties to contact their municipality or energy company for help or payment arrangements. “There are a lot of possibilities to help you,” she said.
Over the next two weeks, the Cabinet will discuss the budget for next year, which will be presented on Budget Day.