Well-heeled Dutch pensioners should not be exempt from making an extra financial contribution ‘in these difficult times’, Labour leader Diederik Samsom told a television current affairs show on Monday evening.
The government has been under fire from opposition parties for the cumulative effect of its cuts on pensioners’ spending power.
‘The last thing we need in these times is to pitch young against old,’ Samsom said. This is why older people with a private pension are being asked to pay more, the Labour MP said.
Last month, family spending institute Nibud said almost everyone will have less money to spend this year, the fourth year in succession spending power has gone down.
People who took early retirement and parents with children at daycare centres will be hardest hit, Nibud said. On average, people will have 2% less cash in their pockets, but the drop could be as high as 7.7% for some.
Earlier in the day, Samsom caused uproar when he told people at a meeting organised by women’s magazine Libelle that the over-50s are the richest people in the Netherlands.
The over-50s now own 30% to 40% of the country’s assets and should pay more, he told the meeting. The Labour leader did not, apparently, say what proportion of assets are owned by people over the age of 65.