Single parents on welfare benefits ‘won’t have to apply for jobs’

The government has agreed to drop plans to force single mothers with young children and on welfare benefits to apply for jobs.

Kees van der Staaij, leader of the orthodox Christian party SGP, broke the news during a debate organised by the religious paper Nederlands Dagblad. Talks between junior social affairs minister Jetta Klijnsma and opposition parties on reaching a compromise on the reforms are currently ongoing.

Klijnsma wants to shake up the welfare system by making sure claimants are actively looking for work and introducing work for welfare schemes. But she needs the support of opposition parties to get the changes through the upper house of parliament, where the government does not have a majority.


The SGP, ChristenUnie and the Liberal democrats D66 have already worked with the cabinet on several compromises.

‘This was important for us,’ Van der Staaij said. ‘These parents must be able to choose to look after their children.’ D66 leader Alexander Pechtold, who believes single mothers should work, said the decision to accept the compromise is part of the ‘give and take’ needed in this ‘special construction’.

The talks are set to continue next week.

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