The three biggest Dutch trade union federations are urging local councils not to go too far in making cuts when they take over responsibility for long term care services from central government.
The FNV, CNV and VCP unions have written to employers warning that some councils are planning to slash services more severely than necessary when the handover takes place next year.
‘This means even more people will lose their jobs,’ the letter states. ‘In addition, money earmarked for home nursing, for example, is being planned in for other things.’
The government has agreed that €2.3bn – just under 10% of the budget – will be cut from long-term care when the switch is made. Tens of thousands of home care workers have already lost their jobs.
‘Nursing homes are being closed but councils are also cutting out home nursing. Hundreds of thousands of elderly people will lose those friendly faces,’ FNV chairman Ton Heerts is quoted as saying by Nos television.
The unions estimate spending on home nursing and other forms of care is being cut by an average of 30% but some councils plan to reduce their budgets by almost 70%.
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