Live-at-home child to pay for jobless parents in welfare benefit shake-up

Ministers are working on draft legislation which would deny jobless parents basic welfare benefits if an older child earns more than €1,800 a month, the Volkskrant reports on Saturday.

The new rules would switch the financial cut-off for welfare benefits (bijstand) from the individual to the household. Students and the under 18s with small jobs would not be included, the paper says.
Insiders told the Volkskrant the new rules, which the government hopes will come into effect in 2012, mean 10,000 people will lose their welfare benefits and 20,000 households will have between €500 and €800 a month less to spend.
Ministers hope the changes will stimulate more unemployed people to find work. But Jeroen de Glas of the FNV trade union’s youth wing said the measure would stimulate youngsters to give up their jobs. ‘Soon they will have to give their salary to their parents,’ he said.
At the moment, a couple on welfare benefits receive €1,424 a month, while a single parent gets 70% of that. The under-27s can only claim welfare benefits under exceptional circumstances.

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