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Inflation may have decreased slightly according to the Netherlands statistics (from 10.2 percent in May to 9.9 percent in June), many consumers are having a hard time due to higher prices.
File headache number one is the utility bill. At Vattenfall, for example, with 2 million Dutch customers, variable prices are rising again today. As a result, customers pay an average of 20 euros per month.
Essent previously announced that variable rates will increase on average by €50 per month. The picture is the same with most other power suppliers. Debt advisors believe that the number of people with payment problems will continue to grow.
More payment arrangements
According to Martin Neff, who is responsible for payments and collections at Vattenfall, not many customers can tell. At Vattenfall, energy prices are up 40 percent in recent months. “We’re seeing more payment plans, and more referrals to debt advisors.”
But by no means all Vattenfall customers choose to endure the pain now. “About 10 percent of our customers, about 200,000, are now paying very little per month. Then you have to think of up to 200 euros per month. These families have to pay a huge amount at the end of the year, some thousands of euros, which they often can’t do Sometimes. We’re very concerned about that.”
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According to Neff, many of these clients are desperate. “Sometimes they adjust the monthly amount to what they can pay. But then the hit comes at the end of the year. We try to ring the bell as soon as possible and find a solution. Often that works, more often than not. Then clients are referred for help. and the municipality.”
According to Vattenfall, additional support measures from the Cabinet are already helping, but not enough: “Nothing has been arranged for the next year.”
Jaap Jan Breuer, a debt advisor at Amersfoort, sees many people entering “desperate”. “People are dealing not only with higher energy prices, but also with more expensive everyday groceries. If you had to choose between increasing the progress for energy or using that money to buy groceries, it makes sense for people to choose that groceries. They know me” I’m sure Although the energy bill is going to be a big problem in the winter, but yeah…”
get rid of the car
Nadja Jungmann is a lecturer on debt and collection at Hogeschool Utrecht and also trains social workers: “If the fixed costs of the family are not proportional to the income, then debt counseling is no longer a solution. The only thing you can do is to make a moral appeal to housing associations and energy companies not to evict people from their homes and not to turn off the heating.”
According to her, 6 billion euros are spent on purchasing power reforms without a clear picture of where they should land. “We pick generic solutions to individual problems. A growing group stumbles completely.”
In fact, debt advisors back the wall. “He expects a lot from us,” Brewer says. “But if there’s a big difference between what people get in and what goes out, it stops. Then we can’t do much. Sometimes we advise: Get rid of the car. This saves hundreds of euros that you can use for energy and groceries. But yes, that’s pretty dangerous. truly “.
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