More than half the members of parliament who either quit politics or lost their seat at the 2010 and 2012 general elections are still without work, according to research by current affairs show Nieuwsuur.
At least 55 of the 104 MPs who left parliament are without a permanent job and 53 are claiming wachtgeld – the unemployment benefit payable to parliamentarians. Nieuwsuur contacted all 104 MPs and 95 responded.
Over a quarter of them say it is a disadvantage to have been an MP
Those without a permanent job include Gerdi Verbeet, former parliamentary chairwoman who left after the September 2012 election. She says it is worrying how difficult it is for former MPs to find a job, and says there should be no further restrictions on the amount of jobless benefit they can claim.
This is important to ensure MPs remain neutral and do not spend time looking for a job when they should be carrying out parliamentary business.
Last year, parliament reduced the unemployment benefits package for MPs who have lost their jobs. Depending on their length of service, MPs can now claim benefits for three years and two months, rather than four years, bringing the time limit in line with that of the general public.
MPs will be able to claim 80% of their salary of around €7,000 a month for the first year, followed by 70% for the remaining period.
Most of the former MPs who have found a job are working for government bodies and some have been appointed mayors of local authorities.