Almost everyone will have less to spend

Almost everyone, with the exception of poor pensioners and single parent families in work, will have less to spend this year, according to calculations by family budget institute Nibud.

It was announced at last year’s budget that spending power would be down for most households in 2008.
On average, people will have €13 a month less to spend, Nibud said. Disposable cash will fall between 0.25% and 1% despite an average 3.25% increase in wages. The sharp increase in food and petrol prices means many people will feel the fall in spending power directly in their pockets and wage rises will not be enough to counteract inflation, Nibud said.
Poorer pensioners and single parent families will benefit from extra government support.
Opposition MPs on Tuesday called on ministers to explain the decline in spending power. GroenLinks urged the government to ensure everyone on a low income benefited from government top-ups.
The extra money the government will earn from its gas reserves because of high oil prices could be used to pay for more help, GroenLinks said.

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