Finance

Child benefit freeze will not come

Parents receive child benefit for children up to the age of 17. In total, two million people receive an amount every quarter. Depending on the age of a child, this is between 223.37 and 319.10 euros per quarter per child.

Inflation

Normally, that amount is adjusted every year in line with inflation and a few euros per month are added. But the cabinet does not want to index child benefits in 2022 and 2023.

The plan also states that child benefits will increase by 1.4 percent by 2024. But right now inflation is already 2.7 percent.

With the money generated by the cutbacks – about 100 million euros – the cabinet wants to improve the services and ICT at the UWV and the Social Insurance Bank. According to outgoing minister Wouter Koolmees, it would only be a few euros a month that parents miss out on. He doesn’t think that will make a huge difference to parents.

Growing up in poverty

But that is nonsense, says PvdA Member of Parliament Gijs van Dijk, who opposes the plan. “More than a million people in the Netherlands live in poverty. The Ministry of Social Affairs wants fewer children to grow up in poverty, and then they do this. The cut is 17 euros per child per year. But for people who are not well off, every little bit helps.”

The coalition parties in the House of Representatives support Koolmees’ plan. They have a majority there. But in the Senate there is no such majority. The House of Representatives will vote on the cabinet plan on Tuesday.

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