Chronically sick to lose out in budget

The cabinet is to cut the compensation for costs made by chronically sick and handicapped people for the third time, reports Friday’s Volkskrant.

Proposals to be presented on budget day next Tuesday fail to protect the spending power of this vulnerable group, the paper says.
A windfall of €200m from changes in subsidies for glasses and first aid supplies is not being put back into financial aid for people with a chronic sickness but will be used to close other gaps in the budget, the paper claims.
Ad Poppelaars, who heads the organisation representing chronically ill and handicapped people, told the paper he is ‘shocked’ with the latest development. ‘The sick and handicapped are paying for the fact that the rest of the Netherlands is keeping its purchasing power intact,’ he said.
The coalition government already planned a €400m cut in tax relief on items such as taxis and home renovations for the chronically ill when it took power, but because the system was still ‘abused’ new measures were proposed.
The cabinet promised that sick people would not be worse off as a result of the new plans. But the national budget institute Nibud calculated that a proposal sent to parliament before the summer meant chronically ill and handicapped people would see a 9% fall in their spending power.
MPs sent the proposal back and called on the cabinet to come up with a less stringent plan. Details will be announced in the budget next week but the paper says the latest plan fails to protect chronically sick and handicapped people.

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