July 5, 2022

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Cabinet is relaxing the rules for people about welfare and wants to act less harshly now

Cabinet is relaxing the rules for people about welfare and wants to act less harshly now

The government wants to be less strict with people on welfare. For example, they should be able to receive gifts or earn some extra money for a longer period of time, without this having consequences for their merits. This was announced by Minister Carola Schuten (reducing poverty) on Tuesday in e-mail to the House of Representatives.

By relaxing the rules, the Cabinet hopes to remove the sharp edges of the so-called participation law.

The effect of this law is often described as “difficult,” according to Schouten. “There is a general feeling that government cares primarily about the rules and pays little attention to the human dimension or the complex problems faced by people in well-being.”

It particularly annoys the minister because help from family or friends is quickly “punished” with a discount on the benefit. She calls this a ‘clemency fine’. Schouten now wants to set a standard for donations and is discussing this with the municipalities.

It should soon also be possible for people receiving welfare to help themselves, for example by taking a person in need home temporarily, without this having direct consequences for someone’s benefit.

The rules for caring for people are very strict

The rules for luxury are now very strict. For example, they may not receive money in any way, for example through informal sponsorships or by selling items. It is also prohibited to accept gifts such as groceries.

If someone is arrested now, the municipality can decide to impose a fine or cut the benefit on someone. A simple mistake or violation can lead to serious financial problems for people receiving benefits.

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Municipalities will soon have to give more space to adapt any measures to anyone’s individual situation. This is to prevent a person from being disproportionately hit in the event of a violation.

Schotten’s interventions are consistent with the trend that politicians want to be more aware of how laws and regulations work for people in practice. However, the minister acknowledges that law reform is complex and will not be arranged easily.