Immigration costs not available, says minister

The cabinet will not come up with detailed figures about the cost of immigrants to society, integration minister Eberhard van der Laan has told MPs.

This summer, the anti-immigration PVV asked all 12 ministries to come up with a detailed analysis of the cost of non-western immigrants between 2004 and 2014.
‘We look at the effect of policy but we do not measure our citizens in terms of their cost in euros,’ Van der Laan was quoted as saying in the Volkskrant.
The cabinet would not come up with a total figure as a question of principle and because it was not available, he said.
‘We are not going to do sums or make estimates because we do not keep accounts based on groups of people,’ he was quoted as saying.
Van der Laan also pointed out that immigrant groups may be over-represented in terms of visits to family doctors but are less likely to use hospital specialists. ‘They also make far less use of mortgage tax relief and cultural subsidies,’ the minister said.


But Socialist Party leader Agnes Kant told a tv programme on Sunday that the PVV’s questions should be answered.
‘As a member of the opposition, you have a right to information,’ Kant said, adding that she did not agree with the reasoning behind the party’s questions.
Liberal (VVD) MP Paul de Krom said the minister’s reasoning was ‘odd’. De Krom said his party was only interested in the cost of immigrants who did not contribute to society, he was reported as saying in the NRC.
PVV leader Geert Wilders described the minister’s response as ‘elitist arrogance’ and said people were not being allowed to know how much ‘mass immigration’ cost.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation