These days around half of all Dutch households have borrowed money from a bank, family or friends, compared with around a third three years ago, according to new figures from family spending institute Nibud.
Some 45% of the 2,000 households which took part in the survey said they now find it hard to make ends meet, up from 37% three years ago.
Not only low-income families are affected. Around 25% of families with an after-tax income of over €3,100 say they are hard up at the end of the month.
The survey looked at households with loans of over €500, excluding mortgages.
Dutch consumers’ confidence in their own financial future fell to an all-time low in May, dropping ten points to -25, with consumers saying they are unlikely to make any major purchases in the next 12 months.
The elections in September, the austerity measures contained in the five-party coalition agreement and the growing debt crisis in Europe are all depressing confidence, according to the national statistics office CBS.
Spending power is set to decline across the board because of the austerity measures. Commuters and richer pensioners will be hardest hit.
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