As every year, a number of new laws come into effect on January 1, while taxes and benefits go up and down. Here’s a round-up of the main changes:
Work and benefits
- The minimum wage for an adult will rise by 58 cents a day to €72.83.
- The state pension age will rise three months to 66 years.
- Single people claiming welfare benefits will be able to have up to €6,020 in assets before their benefit is cut.
- The maximum healthcare benefit for a single person will rise €73 to € 1,139 a year.
- Child benefit will rise marginally.
- Changes to taxes and premiums mean most people with a job will take home a little more in 2018.
- The tax-free capital threshold for asset tax will rise €5,000 to €30,000.
- New home owners will only be able to borrow 100% of the value of their property, not 101% as in 2017.
- The maximum percentage of mortgage interest that can be deducted from tax will be cut from 50% to 49.5% in 2018.
- When a couple buy a home, 70% of the salary of the second partner will be included in the maximum mortgage calculation, rather than 60%.
- Home owners associations will be required by law to save up money to pay for major repairs.
- Stamps will be more expensive. A stamp for the Netherlands will cost 83 cents rather than 78 cents.
- Toothpaste, shampoo and sunscreen will be subject to 21% btw, not 6%.
- The cost of memory sticks and digital ‘wearables’ will rise by 60 cents and €1.20 respectively. The extra money will go into the home copying fund to compensate music and film copyright holders.
- The property that couples bring into a marriage will remain theirs alone as the common property rules for newlyweds are modernised.
- Playgroups (peuterspeelzalen) will fall under the same rules and regulations as daycare centres (kinderdagverblijven) and parents who use them will be entitled to benefits to help pay the bill.
- Second class train tickets will cost 1.2% more but first class tickets won’t be more expensive.
- People convicted of serious violent offences or sex crimes can be kept under social work control for longer, to minimise the risk of reoffending. Judges can also extend their probation periods for two years at a time, indefinitely.
- Caught speeding? In 2018, fines will be sharply higher
- The number of local authority areas in the Netherlands will be reduced from 388 to 380 due to mergers and boundary changes.
- New cash incentives will be available to employers who take on unemployed youngsters, older workers and people with handicaps.
- Children at pre-university schools (vwo) will no longer have to pass a test in maths to earn their school leaving certificates.