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Commuters hard hit by austerity package, students benefit

Friday 25 May 2012

Commuters whose employers pay their expenses for travelling to and from work will lose hundreds of euros a year when the benefit is taxed from next year, according to media reports on Friday.

The decision to tax payments made by employers to commuters is contained in the five-party package of austerity measures which will be sent to parliament. Employers can currently pay untaxed expenses of 19 cents a kilometre or buy staff rail or bus cards.

Most of the measures have already been leaked, but details of how the tax on commuting will pan out are new.

€250 a year

The changes mean people on incomes of below €33,000 a year will lose one-third of their commuting expenses while the better off will lose half. Dutch Rail says it fears the change will cost train travellers an average of €100 a month.

However, someone travelling first class on a daily basis between Amsterdam and The Hague will be €250 worse off, the NS calculates.

But there is good news for students. Plans to scrap grants for students taking a masters degree have been reversed.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Maybe if we stopped building 800 billion euro in retarded highways there would be enough money to ensure people get to work. and when the NS missed the revenues from people who no longer can afford to get work, and it makes even further cut backs, then what? More highways? Will someone please send these neoliberals packing already? Shame on you GroenLinks. SHAME.

By Kevin | 25 May 2012 8:37 AM

Does this mean that as more people will actually be 'paying' for train services they will start to demand a better service from the NS?

By Andy T | 25 May 2012 8:52 AM

Quote: Commuters will lose hundreds of euro's each year.
Are you kidding, I'll be losing exactly €1715 from my netto salary each year!

By Peter | 25 May 2012 9:26 AM

Sad to hear that our politicians mix up income and cost of doing business. I can think of many more ways to increase revenue which are more meaningful than this: i.e. tax environmental polluters in addition to making them clean up or compensate for the pollution. We don't need austerity measures, we just need to remember the origins of taxes: to finance services for the common good. What better way is there than to tax those services or activities which undermine the common good?

By Hugo Skoppek | 25 May 2012 9:35 AM

"Dutch Rail says it fears the change will cost train travellers an average of €100 a month." - In other words, the goverment will take €100 a month from every employee!!!

By Thy.Kantler | 25 May 2012 10:44 AM

Oh thats great, even less take home pay.

By Roger Simons | 25 May 2012 12:51 PM

So the estimate is ~100 p.m. How is that going to be 1.5% "worse off"? For 100 E to be 1.5% that is an after tax income of 6700 EUR (more or less about 150k p.a.) The reality is those 100 EUR represent a consistent 3-5% of the average earner in this country. Top that with the 2% increase on VAT (probably transport has high VAT as well) and going to work will ask for ~10% of your income. Sweet!

By Dan Sparleanu | 25 May 2012 7:34 PM

Not to mention these 2 very interesting articles (please note the source :) ) :
Lies, damn lies and statistics :)

By Dan Sparleanu | 25 May 2012 7:37 PM

On the whole, this isn't a bad tax. After all, in other countries, you simply don't get travel-to-work expenses at ALL, the whole cost just comes out of your own pocket.

By osita | 26 May 2012 10:37 AM

@osita - you are right that in most countries home-to-work expenses are not reimbursed by your employer. However, in most countries (with the exception of UK)public transport is not as expensive as it has always been in the Netherlands and most people live in the city where they work (in NL those who live within X distance of the office also don't get anything back) while here in NL that is, at least among the people I know, not so common.

By Alice | 29 May 2012 12:53 PM

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