Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher has pledged to investigate the cumulative effect of government spending cuts on spending power ahead of this September’s budget presentation.
However, pensioners should not count on any compensation for the extra charges they face this year, the minister told parliament on Wednesday. This may be an option in 2014 if the research shows they have been unfairly hit.
‘I do not want to awaken any false expectations,’ Asscher said. ‘If we look at the spending power projections for 2014, choices can be made and we can prevent imbalance. But it will be difficult next year and we will have to discuss in parliament what can be done for specific groups.’
Opposition MPs had called on the minister to compensate pensioners with a small company pension, arguing they are being unfairly hit.
According to social affairs ministry figures, pensioners with an extra pension of some €10,000 a year may be hit by a 9% drop in spending power.
Some opposition MPs also want extra help for single parent families on welfare benefits, who have also been hit by a sharp drop in disposable income.