Human rights council to rule on cuts for poorest pensioners

The Dutch equal opportunities commission, now renamed the human rights council, will today look at government plans to cut the top-up welfare payments of poor pensioners.

The case was brought by trade unions and migrant rights organisations, who say the cut will hit the poorest people in society.
The over-65s need to have lived in the Netherlands from the age of 15 in order to qualify for a full state pension. This means people who came to the Netherlands to work at the age of 20, are only eligible for 90%. If they have no other financial means, they can claim welfare (bijstand) to make up the difference.


But earlier this year, the government said it planned to reduce the welfare payments to this group by the same amount as an extra payment to cover any drop in spending power. Other groups of pensioners will benefit fully from the compensation payments, prompting unions and migrant groups to take action.
Some 51,000 people are covered by the cut, mainly immigrants who came to the Netherlands to work in their 20s and 30s.
‘It is incomprehensible why ministers have decided to cut compensation payments when the aim is to ensure these people don’t end up in poverty,’ FNV spokeswoman Catelene Passchier told news agency ANP.
The union says this and other decisions will cut a single pensioner’s income by €440 a year.
Do you know how much Dutch state pension you will get? Have your say using the comment box below.

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