Top civil servant calls for jobless benefit cuts

The length of time people can claim unemployment benefit should be cut to encourage them to find work as quickly as possible, the most senior civil servant at the economic affairs ministry said in his traditional New Year article, the NRC reports on Thursday.


Writing in the economists’ magazine ESB, Chris Buijink said a reduction in the length of time income-related jobless benefit is paid would be an important stimulus to find new work, particularly among older workers.
Unemployment benefit is currently paid for a maximum 38 months, depending on how long someone has had a job. ‘Compared with other EU countries, the unemployed in the Netherlands still get jobless benefit for a long time,’ Buijink was reported as saying.
Early pension
‘The long slide towards a pension must be made less attractive. Unemployment is still an attractive way out for many older workers,’ he said. While there have been improvements in the job take-up rate among older workers, just 26% of people aged 60 to 64 still have a job, he pointed out.
Jobless benefit (WW) was reduced from five years to three years two months in 2005. Claimants are entitled to 75% of their last earned salary with a maximum of €185.46 a day for two months. The benefit is then cut to 70%.
Buijink also suggested making the level of jobless benefits be partly dependent on the education level of the worker, the Telegraaf said in its report.
Last year, Buijink used his ESB article to call for a increase in the state pension age to 67.