Netherlands heading for a debt crisis, budget institute warns
The sky-high prices have put the Netherlands in a crisis of making ends meet with many people struggling to get through the month, said Arjan Vliegenthart of the budged institute Nibud. Many Netherlands residents may just manage to get by without going into debt, but even a tiny setback next year will push many that far, he said to the Tweede Kamer.
“Many people are currently trying to save the day with a great deal of effort, drawing on their own reserves.” According to him, these are “actually excellent budget makers” who just barely manage without making debts. “But next year, the refrigerator will break, or the additional tax on the energy bill will come. The car has to go in for repairs,” the Nibud director outlined. “Then the debts arise.”
Such a debt crisis “is really my big concern,” said Vliegenthart. To prevent this as much as possible, the government must immediately take measures to alleviate households’ financial pain. Because once the problem is that many Dutch people are stuck with large debts, “we will always be late, no matter how early we get there.”
Vliegenthart painted a gloomy picture of the high costs to the parliamentarians. One in three households barely manages to make ends meet, he repeated. Half of them are not at all used to taking drastic austerity measures to make it to the end of the month. The other half of that group has been struggling for much longer. According to Vliegenthart, these people follow all of Nibud’s budget tips and still do not make ends meet. “I understand that there is nothing you can do about it anymore,” many Dutch people tell the budget institute.
The number of people knocking on Nibud’s door for help is also a lot higher than before. Vliegenthart estimated that the institute gets 1.5 to 2 times more calls than usual. The measures that the government has already taken to partially compensate households for the high costs are not nearly enough, he said.
Reporting by ANP