Tuesday 24 January 2017

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Teurneuzen aims to be first Dutch town to carry out basic income trial


The town of Teurneuzen close to the Belgian border hopes to become the first local authority in the Netherlands to experiment with a basic income concept, the Volkskrant said on Monday. Town councillors will vote on Thursday on whether to give 20 people currently living on welfare payments a monthly income of €933 with no strings attached. Several other towns and cities, including Wageningen, Utrecht, Tilburg, Nijmegen and Groningen are also keen to experiment with basic incomes. Last year, the government agreed to give more leeway for experiments with different forms of income and welfare benefits. For example, in some places, welfare claimants will not have to apply for jobs but will be allowed to keep more of any addition earnings. Teurneuzen, which has a population of 25,000 and 1,136 people on welfare benefits, plans to select its basic income recipients from a pool of people who have been claiming bijstand for more than three years. 'These are people who can't be motivated and have given up looking for a job,' alderman Cees Liefting told the paper. 'We have a moral duty to try to find new tools to stimulate people in a hopeless situation, hence the experiment.' Supporters of the basic income concept say it will allow everyone to decide whether to work, study, start a company or, for example, take care of elderly family members. Why we should give free money to everyone  More >

Salary slips will show a slight increase

Jobs Almost every worker in the Netherlands will have more take-home pay this year although the rise is extremely small for in some wage categories, says salary processor ADP. People earning the minimum wage will have around €15 more to spend, including the annual rise in minimum pay rates. People earning €37,000 a year will benefit by €3 a month while those on double that will have €10 more to spend. However, if people pay for their health insurance via their salary, the rise will be more than offset by increases in healthcare premiums, ADP said. The national statistics office CBS said earlier on Friday that pay in sectors where collective bargaining applies went up by an average of 1.9% last year - the highest rise in seven years. At the same time, inflation has reached a 30 year low, averaging 0.3% in 2016.  More >

Action urged on unqualified youth

Jobs The government wants to help some of the thousands of youngsters who live under the radar in the Netherlands get a job or qualifications, the Volkskrant reported on Thursday. The paper says some 66,000 youngsters live out of sight of the authorities because they're not studying, they don't have a job and they don't receive benefits. Officials fear many turn to crime, or become dependent on welfare. The state job centre UWV, social services and local councils all separately try to help these youngsters, but the cabinet thinks a central approach would be better, the Volkskrant said. Officials are now trying to quantify the size of the problem and work out a plan of campaign. Researcher Trudi Nederland from the Verwey-Jonker Institute thinks some regional approaches can be useful. She speaks highly of the very personal approach in Dordrecht, where one mediator talks to youngsters extensively about their problems, and tries to help them get back on track. 'Research by our institute has shown that creating a central point of contact is necessary to help these youngsters through a whole process,' she said. Nederland warns against forcing youngsters with no qualifications back to school. 'These youths have often already failed in that same educational system. It's very difficult to flip a switch and try again. Let these youngsters work first, and link it to a learning process later which is much more effective,' she said.  More >

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