Local councils are concerned the switch to a household income check when determining welfare payments will lead to adult children moving to another address on paper so their parents’ benefits do not get stopped.
Under new rules on benefits, payments will be worked out according to the total family income. This means working adult children’s pay packets will be used to decide how much money jobless parents are entitled to.
According to the Volkskrant, in Utrecht a number of families have already indicated their children have been ‘written in’ at another address to avoid the income check.
The government expects this will save €50m a year in benefits. ‘The aim is to get more people to work. We expect some family members will move. Of course they can. But moving on paper only is fraud and councils will have to implement tough controls,’ junior social affairs minister Paul de Krom told the paper.
Councils say the government may end up worse off if working children actually do move to their own home. In many cases parents will be entitled to higher benefits while the children can claim housing benefit, they point out.
So far Utrecht city council says it expects to end 440 benefits while Amsterdam is examining some 6,000 claims. Rotterdam thinks some 2,400 people or 800 families will be affected.
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